Building Partnerships with the Lions

By DG Dennis Brining


Thank you for your kind introduction.

I am very proud to join you today as a representative of the Lions of Virginia and the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

I will share with you this morning: the mission of Lions Clubs International, our international foundation, the projects of our foundation and our philosophy on partnerships.

By way of background, LCI was founded in 1917 when Melvin Jones, a Chicago Insurance man, met with men from 12 different service clubs and convinced them that their organizations should band together and expand their efforts to better serve their communities and the world at large-rather than just local business interests.

Since this meager beginning, Lions Clubs International has grown to an organization of

  • Over 1,350,000 Members

  • In over 45,000 Clubs

  • In 206 Nations and Geographical Areas around the world

Within the State of VA, we have over 8,500 members, our local District 24-A has 69 Lions Clubs with 1929 members.

Lions Clubs are involved in providing support to

  • The Sight and Hearing Impaired

  • Youth Activities and Drug Awareness Through Lions Quest

  • Leo Club Formation in Local Schools

  • Diabetes Awareness Programs

  • Community Health and Welfare, and

  • Numerous international Humanitarian and Welfare activities

The Lions of Northern VA Raise and Return to their communities more than $1,000,000/year and the Lions of VA raise more than $5,000,000/year.

SAMPLE Contributions include:

  • Leader Dog School for the blind

  • VA Hearing Foundation

  • VA Lions Eye Institute

  • Juvenile Diabetes,

  • Recording services for the visually handicapped,

  • Old Dominion eye Bank and many others.
    Now a few words about the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

LCIF is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International and chartered in 1968 to support the efforts of Lions Clubs around the world in serving their local communities and the world community through Preserving Sight, Promoting Health, Providing major disaster relief, combating disability and supporting youth.

We are ranked as the #1 non-governmental organization (NGO) with which to partner. Why? Because we bring together compassionate people to respond -- quickly, effectively and with caring hearts. As needs around the world continue to increase, so do our responses.

We know, wherever on this globe there is a need, a Lions Club is nearby, and so is our International Foundation. LCIF has awarded more than 9,500 grants totalling more than $680 Million in its 40 year history. It makes miracles possible through the support of Lions and Lions Clubs. Through our Sight First Program we have saved the sight of more than 30 Million worldwide. We are the Knights of the Blind.

We are both global and local. We prevent curable blindness. We provide hope after major disasters. We give opportunities to youth. We are in China and South America, and from the island of Haiti to all regions in Eastern Europe. We are everywhere.

We respond collectively. We encourage Lions in one region to show their global friendship and help out Lions in another region during a time of calamity. We make possible what may be beyond the capacity of a single club or district. And, more and more often, we are giving service opportunities to Lions.

But, as you know, we can’t do this alone. We place great emphasis on working with selective partners. And not just any partner – but only the best.

Our Partners are those that are like us, those that stand for progress and innovation, not resignation to the normal way of doing things.

Our partners understand something very important and unique about Lions – we have manpower and relationships worldwide. These include Collaborative Partners, Corporate and NGO Partners, and Government Partners and total approximately 22 organizations including the US Department of State.

On the local level

The Lions of District 24-A have strategic Partnerships with

  • Prevent Blindness Mid Atlantic-who developed a Certified Vision Screening Program that touches some 400,000 children/year, across the Common Wealth. We are now moving this program into MD where we could touch 550,000 over three years.

  • The Virginia Department of Blind and Visually Impaired- to expand their Low Vision Center in Fairfax.

  • The Prevention of Blindness Society to expand their Low Vision Center in Alexandria. Combined these two partnerships help us reach a catchment area of 2.3 million people.

  • The Fairfax Education Association

  • National Federation of the Blind

We are currently in discussions with several other potential partners to include:

  • VA Association Health Occupations Students of America

  • Fairfax County Public Schools

  • Northern Va Academy of Ophthalmologists

  • International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance.

  • Global Community Service Foundation

  • Aziza Productions

We would also hope that this list will include the Greater Merrifield Business Association

In Conclusion, Our product is compassion and we must transport the emotion. By transporting the emotion we build bridges between our helping hands and those who need us and want to join us!

I know that you will want to do this because we share a common passion – service to others. We work diligently. We work tirelessly. And we get the job done. I like to say that success will not happen without one person dreaming of it, another believing in it and a third moving to make it a reality. We are the ones that make success happen! I invite you to come join us in this life changing adventure.

Thank you.


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