This is the first in a series of articles explaining what Lions do for their communities. One common central goal for all Lions worldwide is preventing blindness and preserving sight.
In 1925, Helen Keller stood before the annual convention of the nascent International Association of Lions Clubs and spoke of her work with the American Foundation for the Blind, ending her talk with her now-famous challenge to us:
“The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?”
The Lions rallied to the cause and have taken up arms at every battlefront in the fight. From providing vision care and eyeglasses to those in need, to sponsoring vision screening clinics, to funding research and providing services and equipment to those with low vision, and even raising awareness about the causes of preventable blindness, like diabetes. Lions everywhere and through the years have committed themselves to preventing preventable blindness and helping the visually challenged lead healthy, productive lives.
Read the rest of this entry »