Our Charitable Projects


(Look at Lions Clubs International  and Lions Clubs Internation Foundation websites to see the significant world-wide efforts to help prevent blindness and promote eye health, and to help the sight impaired)

Willow Glen Lions collect used eyeglasses from local optometrists, with collection boxes at the Willow Glen Library, the Willow Glen Community Center, businesses, etc.  We involve youth (Leo Clubs at high schools) when we sort and box about 2500 eyeglasses each year for delivery to Lions In Sight (see their website), the eyeglass recycling operation in Vallejo for cleaning, grading, packaging, and distribution.  The distribution each year is hundreds of thousands of eyeglass through Lions organizations and other charitable organizations in foreign countries.  Our members have traveled to Mexico to be part of a vision clinic mission, where emotions and smiles of sight improvement tug at the heart.

Along with our optometrist partners we help those in financial need obtain examinations and eyeglasses.  These children and adults are referred to Willow Glen Lions Charities, Inc. by schools and agencies.  Also, Lions make referral of those that qualify when the vision screening in our health screening efforts show a recommendation of a complete vision examination by an optometrist.

We can refer those in need of medical treatment of serious vision problems to the Lions Eye Foundation-LEF.  LEF’s Mission is: To preserve and restore the gift of sight by providing free ophthalmic examinations, operations, and medication to the less fortunate members of our community.  LEF has partnered with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco to provide excellent eye care to those who could not otherwise afford it.   Eye care procedures totaling around $5M - $6M are provided in a year, all at no cost to the patients.

Camp for Kids with Diabetes: a District Project

An important annual event is a fundraiser that is a project of District 4C-6 Lions Clubs, including Willow Glen Lions Club. The goal: to enable children with Type 1 diabetes to attend a summer camp where typical summer camp activities occur and where there are training & sharing of how to manage diabetes. DYF (formerly Diabetic Youth Families) runs the camp and provides paid and volunteer medical professionals.  Many of the DYF staff are diabetic and attended this camp and other camps so young children up to high school age attendees relate well.  There are adult role models (typically a sports figure or an entertainer) who have diabetes that help make the camp special.  Lions provide funds for scholarships and cover the expense of swimming activity.

LEO Clubs at Local High Schools

We sponsor one LEO Club and are working on developing/sponsoring a second LEO Club.  Activities of a LEO Club can vary but the activities give high school students community service hours, community service experience that is important for university/college entry.  LEO stands for Leadership, Experience, Opportunity; all of which helps students mature and make their way into adult society.

Health Screening

Willow Glen Lions can use our District’s mobile health screening unit, a trailer with space for vision, hearing, and diabetes screening.  The screening is by volunteers, the diabetes screening is done by volunteer health professionals by a quick finger stick and blood glucose meter measurement (non-fasting or fasting).  An introductory consultation is provided when blood glucose is not within normal range.  As mentioned above vision screening can result in referral to an optometrist.


We regularly work on keeping Roy Avenue Park (a city park) a more beautiful place for the folks of Willow Glen to relax and enjoy nature. If you'd like to help us to do a little raking, mulching, weeding or even planting, just let us know.

Backpacks for Kids

Annually Willow Glen Lions join other Lions in loading backpacks with school supplies.  With 50-60-70 people around 1500 backpacks are readied on a Saturday morning in July.  Willow Glen Lions fund 100 backpacks and distribute those to a local school and a local agency in August.  Get in touch with us for this year’s ‘backpack stuffing’ – a good start on ‘giving back’ and experiencing Lions doing their “We Serve” thing.

Peace Poster Contest

Every year there is an International Peace Poster contest sponsored by Lions Clubs International.  Willow Glen Lions Club strives to get middle school children to participate.  The theme and guidelines for the middle school children to follow are provided to individuals and school teachers/classes.

The why on this Contest is:  Lions Clubs in San Francisco helped the holding of the meetings in 1945 that started the formation of the United Nations.  Lions Clubs with its international spread had focus on international understanding in efforts to help those less fortunate world-wide.  Lions Clubs International, and Lions Clubs International Foundation, became involved in many UN programs and partnered with other organizations (The Carter Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, health organizations and companies).  A result is there is a Lions Recognition Day at the UN and the middle school winner of the International Peace Poster Contest receives a trip (along with parents & teacher) to that event and is recognized at that event.

Lions Student Speakers Contest

Lions of California (Lions Multiple District MD4) sponsor the Lions Student Speakers Contest which starts in February at the Club level and progresses to the state/MD4 level.  The top speaker (state level) acquires around $25K of scholarship money.  A new topic each year gives students the main benefits: an opportunity to polish research, speech organization, and presentation skills.  Lions cannot be judges but other roles are filled quickly as this project is popular with Lions at all level.  The participating high school students are amazing.  Sometimes a student progress through four years and that helps them succeed into higher levels.

Willow Glen Community Events

Willow Glen Lions volunteer to help out where needed in the community.  Helping ensure safety during Trick or Treat on the Avenue by doing traffic control at cross walks is where you will find some Lions.  Manning a booth at Danci-on-the-Ave is where you will find some Lions.  Lions volunteer time at various civic and charitable locations and have done Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets with San Jose organizations.

Support of Charitable Causes

Through Willow Glen Lions Charities, Inc. our fundrasing projects provide the financial support for the projects above.  We also provide financial support to a number of chariable organizations: Lions in-Sight Foundation, Lions Eye Foundation, SBI-Services for Brain Injury, Rise Up Against Hunger; Sacred Heart, Second Harvest; LCIF-Lions Clubs International Foundation; DYF-Camp for Kids with Diabetes; CCI-Canine Companions for Independence

Our Fundraising Projects:

Annual Valentine's Wine Tasting

Sponsored by the wonderful owner of Joseph George Fine Wines at 1559 Meridian Avenue, we hold this wine tasting around Valentine's Day each year. One recipient of funding from this event is Services for Brain Injury who helped us learn of this benevolent partner in our fundraising.  Great wines, hors d'oeuvre and camaraderie - a lovely evening! The Willow Glen Lions are becoming well known for cuisine, and the spread at this event draws attendance.  Check out Joseph George Wines ( ).

Burrito Breakfasts

We're known for cooking up a great hot breakfast! Our Burrito Breakfast at the Cruise for a Cause car show on Willow Glen’s Lincoln Avenue in September has gained a large following. This event has classic vehicles, superbly customized vehicles and hot rods lining Lincoln Avenue and ajoining parking areas.  Goombahs Car Club of San Jose sponsors & manages the event.  Those bringing their beautiful cars (classics, hot rods, superbly customized) and those viewing during a leisurely Sunday walk around Willow Glen’s business district enjoy the burritos.

If you have an event you'd like us to help out with by serving up breakfast, let's talk. And if you like fun and camaraderie and making hungry people happy, don't hesitate to contact us and we'll invite you to help us next time we serve up a breakfast.

Poinsettia Sales

This has become an annual effort and a significant source of funds to support our charitable work.  In December Willow Glen Lions contact friends & neighbors and network to get beautiful Poinsettia plants sold, then distributed.  It is great way to help the holiday spirit of the Lions and others, and brighten up homes and offices.

This project was developed at the suggestion and leadership of a Lion who joined us only a couple of years back. 

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