Continuing to serve during a global pandemic

During the past couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted traditional social connections around the world. Nonprofit organizations were no different, and they had to balance adjusting to the new reality while seeking ways to continue helping those in need.

As a member of Lions International, the Miami Buena Vista Biltmore (MBVB) Lions Club is actively involved in the global organization’s focus areas: Vision, Youth, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer, the Environment, and Hunger Relief.

Founded in 1970, the MBVB Lions Club is one of South Florida’s oldest Lions Clubs and is part of Lions District 35-N. This diverse district stretches from Sebastian Inlet to Key West and includes The Bahamas, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. 

During these difficult times, the MBVB Lions have undertaken several new projects that allow members and the community to participate. Promoting one of Lion’s International’s Focus Areas, the environment, the MBVB Lions Club began collecting plastic bags that would otherwise end up in landfills or our beaches and oceans. To date, we have collected and recycled almost 1,500 pounds of plastic bags. In recognition of our efforts, the MBVB Lions Club was awarded two park benches, which the City of Miami Beach generously installed at the Miami Beach Boardwalk at Collins Avenue and 53rd Street for the community’s enjoyment.

The MBVB Lions Club also put out a call for empty prescription medicine bottles that are cleaned and reused by doctors and pharmacists at health clinics in developing countries. These items are in addition to the collection of used eyeglasses, which are given to those in need, and soda and beer can tabs, which are donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida to raise funds to benefit their operations and programs. The social distancing protocols in place to pick up these items involve scheduling contactless pickups with the item donors.

Each year, the MBVB Lions Club participates in Lions International’s yearly Peace Poster Contest. This competition gives young people aged 11-13 an opportunity to share their vision of world peace through art. While the Covid-19 pandemic affected student participation and different aspects of the process, one of the students sponsored by our Club, 12-year-old Isadora Tomines, was selected as one of 24 finalists from around the world for Lions International’s Peace Poster Competition.

As the holidays approached, the MBVB Lions Club fulfilled its annual commitment, providing meals to families in need. Recently, the MBVB Lions answered a call from Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, donating a variety of items, ranging from snacks and utensils to cleaning supplies and a flatscreen television, to benefit families who rely on this South Florida institution for comfort and security during trying times.

As 2022 progresses, we look forward to once again participating in service projects such as vision and diabetes screenings, health fairs, holiday toy drives, back-to-school supply distributions, and providing humanitarian assistance following natural disasters. For more information on how you can help, please contact Daniel I. Pedreira, President of the Miami Buena Vista Biltmore Lions Club, at (786) 252-3928 or You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@MBVBLions).

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a lot out of us emotionally, psychologically, physically, and materially. Yet the pandemic was unable to break our spirit of service, our sense of community, and our willingness to persevere in the face of adversity. As the MBVB Lions Club joins the nonprofit community in navigating still-uncharted waters, the shore appears closer and closer. Together, we can row ashore and continue our mission of service.



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.

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