Elmet Lions club is a member of the worldwide organisation of Lions clubs (LCI). One of the foundations that LCI has set up is LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation). It receives donations from individual clubs and makes grants to Lions clubs in areas where various disasters have taken place. The fact that donations are made to Lons clubs rather than governments or aid agencies means that the distribution of the grant, equipment or people resources is handled by like-minded member Lions and avoids the fear that the aid may not reach its intended victims.
While many disaster relief grants are sent abroad there have been a number of occasions when they have been distributed within the UK, such as flooding in Cumbria and the Somerset Levels.
Unlike agencies such as the Red Cross, who are obliged by their constitution to withdraw from an area after the provision of immediate disaster relief, LCIF take a long-term view. For example we are still providing schoolbooks to Sri Lanka more than a decade after the Tsunami and we are still working in Haiti to alleviate the problems create by the earthquake there.
Here is an excerpt from the recent newsletter published by the LCIF chairman Chancellor Bob Corlew:-
When service projects are too large for a club or a district to financially support, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is there to assist. A great example of Lions and LCIF working together happens in the midst of disaster.
This summer, the world watched as natural disasters struck around the world. In South Asia, parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh are experiencing devastating monsoon rains. In Mumbai alone, over 1,000 people have been reported killed in the floods. In the past 3 months, LCIF has approved 20 emergency grants to South Asia, totaling US$125,000. In July, flooding in Japan took lives and destroyed homes. LCIF awarded a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant to help the community recover.
In August, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast stretching from the Houston area into Louisiana. During one of the worst natural disasters in American history, thousands of people lost their homes and everything they own. Some people lost family members. LCIF immediately awarded a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant to assist in reconstruction efforts. Within two weeks of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma struck Florida and other areas of the Southeast United States, and destroyed much of the islands in the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. At the same time, Mexico was hit by its strongest earthquake in 100 years. LCIF has made funds available for two more US$100,000 grants to aid Lions assisting with Hurricane Irma and Mexico’s earthquake. Most recently, LCIF awarded a US$100,000 grant to support Puerto Rico hurricane relief and reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the individuals affected by these and other natural disasters. At the same time, LCIF issues a heartfelt thank you to our donors. Please consider joining them and making a contribution. Donations will continue Lions’ relief efforts around the world, and no gift is too small