Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Celebrating 78 Years of Service

The Newport News Host Lions Club is celebrating 78 years of service to the Newport News Community. We have served as Helen Keller's appointed "Knights of the Blind" and aiding the hearing impaired.

When a person in difficult times calls needing glasses or a hearing aid, there we are filling the need. Social Services sends people to us for glasses. Schools contact us when there is a child in need of glasses and no one else can pay for them. Lions always come through. We were trying to figure out how many glasses and how many hearing aids we have purchased in 78 years. Probably somewhere around 7000 pairs of glasses and at least 1000 hearing aids.

We have provided assistance for the blind through Leaderdog. We have aided them with eye surgeries. We collect used glasses to be recycled for use. Can you even imagine how much that costs? How many volunteer hours were put in?

For 55 years we sold Christmas Trees to make money for charity. We sold pecans, mints, etc. Remember when someone knocked on your door selling a broom, a dust mop, hand towels? Or, held a "White Cane" drive on a street corner or in the local market place? The price of gas has risen so high that we cannot pay for the delivery of the trees any longer. Our resourses are becoming depleted. After 75 years, we are getting older, and tired. Some of our members retired and are off riding around the country in RVs. But, most of our members have gone to meet their Maker. It is has been lonely here in our club, but we have inducted 4 new members in the past year. That is not nearly enough. At one time we had a cap of 90 members. Now we have a grand total of about 18 active members.

Our area is from Harpersville Road South to where Interstate 64 goes into the M&M Tunnel. We have one of the neediest sections in our city. The International Association of Lions Clubs grew out of a meeting held by a group of local visionaries June 17, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois. The Lions organization has become truly global with over 1.3 million members in 45,000 Lions Clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas.

Other major concerns of Lions Clubs are: providing services for youth, improving the environment, building homes for the disabled, supporting diabetes education, conducting hearing programs, and providing disaster relief around the world.

Are you interested in aiding a club continue on and achieve it's 100th Anniversary? We would love to have people that are interested in helping their neighbors, in helping the world to be a better place for us all. We want you! We want to spend the next 75 years helping the poor in Newport News. Who knows, with our help and the help of others, maybe there won't be any poor in Newport News then. I just know that now there is such a need in our city.

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