The Fort Belvoir Lions Club
As you may have noticed, we are a new club. In fact, we are very new. This brief summary is how we learned about Lions Clubs, how we began, and what motivated us to begin such a prestigious thing such as starting a Lions Club in the first place?
For those who did not know, volunteerism is highly valued in the military. Two friends began by searching the internet for local volunteer opportunities and stumbled up a “Sight and Hearing Van advertisement on http://www.volunteermatch.com. It asked for volunteers to simply staff the van, and as medical corpsmen, doing medical volunteering in Reston, Virginia was an each decision. Upon arrival they were greeted by a pair of enthusiastic Lions and after 5 hours of volunteering Ann and Jim Ryan turned to them and said “Hey, you guys should join our club”. Unfortunately, a 25 mile car drive did not seem appealing and they promptly recommended that we begin our own Lions Club.
When Ann Ryan said those words we instantly took it as a challenge and began recruiting our own members. By December 10th, 2012 we finally had 10 potential members and on April 10th, 2012, we were branch chartered at 18 Lions. We currently have 22 members, 21 regular and 1 student. Our oldest member is 25 years old and our youngest is 18 years old.
Over the past year we have raised over $800 for backpacks for a local Boys & Girls Club and are currently raising money to buy their basketball team a set of jerseys. According to Roy Davis at the Eyeglass Center “Our continued work there has put them 2 months ahead and they were behind by 2 months when we first arrived”. Every other Wednesday we are at a local retirement center running bingo for the residents there and interacting with them afterwards, and every other Sunday our Lions go to Petsmart to help out in getting dogs adopted into homes.
Since day one our club’s Volunteer Coordinator has kept track of every volunteer hour earned by every member of our club and the results since December 10th, 2012 has put us at 1487 hours and 10 minutes.
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.