Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization. We have 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs worldwide.
Lions have a dynamic history. Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness – it's part of our history as well as our work today. But we also volunteer for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.
Lions give sight. By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward their mission of providing vision for all. We have extended our commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts and through our international SightFirst Program, which works to eradicate blindness.
Lions serve youth. Our community projects often support local children and schools through scholarships, recreation and mentoring. Internationally, we offer many programs, including the Peace Poster Contest, Youth Camps and Exchange and Lions Quest. And our Leo Program provides personal development through youth volunteer opportunities. There are approximately 144,000 Leos and 5,700 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Lions award grants. Since 1968, the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded more than US$700 million in grants to support Lions humanitarian projects around the world. Together, our Foundation and Lions are helping communities following natural disasters by providing for immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies – and aiding in long-term reconstruction.
Lions are active. Our motto is "We Serve." Lions are part of a global service network, doing whatever is necessary to help our local communities.
Preventing Blindness, Saving Sight for Millions of People Around the World
For nearly 100 years, our members have worked on projects aimed at preventing blindness, restoring eyesight and improving eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Lions volunteer to take part in sight projects that have:
- Distributed more than 147 million treatments for river blindness.
- Provided nearly 8 million cataract surgeries.
- Saved the sight of more than 14 million children by providing eye screenings, glasses and other treatments through Sight for Kids.
- Prevented serious vision loss for more than 30 million people worldwide.
- Established or strengthened pediatric eye care centers that have helped more than 120 million children.
- Vaccinated 41 million children in Africa against measles – a leading cause of childhood blindness.
- Improved eye care for 100 million people by training more than 650,000 eye care professionals and building 315 eye hospitals.
- Helped halt the spread of trachoma in Ethiopia by providing 10 million doses of the sight-saving drug azithromycin.
Since 1990, Lions have raised US$415 million to help provide vision for all.
Lions Work to Improve Sight
Through efforts such as these, Lions have gained worldwide recognition for our work to improve sight. Our members around the world are also actively involved in:
- Recycling eyeglasses at 17 centers worldwide.
- Supporting Lions Eye Banks that provide eye tissue for sight-saving surgeries.
- Screening the vision of hundreds of thousands of people every year.
- Providing treatment to those at risk of losing their vision.
In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." And we accepted. Today, sight programs remain one of our defining causes.