Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our Foundations

Last night we had a special guest speaker at our regular meeting.  Lion Ted Burke is a member of the Juneau Club and on the Board of the 49A Foundation and was asked to share a little about the various Lions Foundations.  Our members know so little about this area of being a Lion, that we felt it was an important topic to cover.  

Did you know the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the most successful charitable giving organization in the world?  We are in the top 3!  The reason being, 100% of donations to LCIF go back into the communities in which we live, worldwide.  When you donate to LCIF, you are not paying any salaries or administrative fees; 100% of your donation will go to the cause you are supporting.  Think about it....  

We learned that there are four major areas of focus for LCIF:

  1. Saving sight
  2. Youth programs, i.e., Peace Poster
  3. Disaster relief, i.e., helping out in the aftermath of hurricanes or earthquakes
  4. Humanitarian needs
And how do we do this.... how can we make a difference, help so many people, worldwide? By making a donation to LCIF every year.   Lion President Mike Norton informed the members at the meeting that according to the MFLC SOP Manual, the Treasurer is required to send $20 per member to LCIF on the first of January of every year.  By doing so, our club will also qualify for LCI's 100% Club and get a nice badge for our banner.  Our Club makes it easy for us to win this award, but we can also donate any amount of money WE want, whenever WE want, i.e., after a horrific hurricane or earthquake.

Lion Ted also talked about the Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF).  Donations to the MJF are in $1,000 increments and can be made by the Club in honor of another Lion or even a non-Lion.  You and I can also donate $1,000 for a Fellowship for ourselves.  If you receive a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from your club, consider it a HUGE privilege and honor as these are a prestigious award.  We were told about one Lion in Anchorage that is on his 20th Progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship Award!  

Which brings us to the 49A Foundation.  The 49A Foundation is similar to LCIF, but is a separate entity.  All donations received stay in District 49A and 49B (Alaska and parts of Canada).  This foundation helps clubs and individuals in need whether it's to buy a new vision screener or help the Blood Bank get closer to their financial goal.  The Club, or individual members, can pay a one-time donation of $100 to receive a Lifetime Membership in the 49A Foundation.  But it gets better... your $100 donation will never be used!  It will go into a bank account or invested, but the principle is never spent, only the interest it makes.  

If your club isn't presently honoring your members by giving them a Lifetime Membership in the 49A Foundation, please consider doing it.  This is a good thing. The money stays in Alaska and helps our fellow Lions and neighbors in need.  

I'd like to personally thank Lion Ted for a great report.  I think it's all a little clearer now!  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy N.

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