Lions are recognized worldwide for their service to the blind and visually impaired. This service began when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness" during the association's 1925 international convention. Click here to read her inspiring speech.
The World Health Organization estimates that the eyesight of one-fourth of the world's population can be improved through the use of corrective lenses. Unfortunately for many, a pair of glasses is both unaffordable and inaccessible. In developing countries, an eye exam costs as much as one month's wages, and a single doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.
The general public is encouraged to donate their used eyeglasses and sunglasses to their local Lions club, or to send them to one of the ten regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers.
See what happens when you donate your eyeglasses by clicking here.
Prevention and reversal of blindness is our major service commitment. This program takes the name of SightFirst, and includes the activities of every club working to control blindness. SightFirst is an international program dedicated to controlling blindness worldwide. Clubs work individually or through their districts to prevent and reverse the major causes of blindness in their area.
Lions Clubs have established glaucoma screening clinics, eye banks, and rehabilitation institutes. They support workshops and help pay scholarships for deserving blind students. The familiar "white canes" were introduced by the Lions and clubs provide guide dogs and other mobility needs.
Lions all over the world are encouraged to renew their commitment to the blind by assessing the blindness situation in their own communities and determining how they can participate in the fight against blindness.
To provide the young people of the world with opportunities for achievement, learning, contribution and service, individually and collectively, through sponsorship of activities identified as best practices in the field of youth development.
Drug Awareness - The threat of drug and alcohol abuse universal. Lions clubs have responded with educational programs designed to prevent drug abuse and help young people make healthy decisions about their lives. The Lions-Quest "Skills for Growing" program reaches children from kindergarten through fifth grades, while "Skills for Adolesence" curriculum is targeted at junior high and middle school students. We sponsor these and many other drug education efforts worldwide.
Educational Services - We award scholarships every year. We also sponsor career nights at high schools and invite locally prominent people to help graduates plan their futures. Literacy programs and vocational training in underpriviledged areas are also high on our agenda.
Youth Exchange - Lions clubs contribute greatly to international understanding and good will by participating in the Youth Exchange Program. Qualified young people are selected by sponsoring Lions clubs to visit other lands as the guest of host Lions clubs. They observe typical community life and gain knowledge of other cultures and peoples.