Our Christiansburg Lions Club strives to make a difference in the world around us, near home and far away.
Every year as we sit down to direct our funds and contributions to the various groups and agencies we support, I think we Lions ourselves are sometimes surprised at what we are able to do with the funds. that we have collected through our various projects.
Local agencies we support range from The Christmas Store, MCEAP (Montgomery County Emergence Assistance Program), local scouts, Boys and Girls State at Christiansburg High School, scholarships at three of Montgomery County’s high schools (the Blacksburg Lions Club supports BHS), local fire and rescue teams, and sometimes other groups such as the computer assistants of Pandas School students – Montgomery County who have competed internationally.
A most recent project for our Christiansburg Lions Club has been to learn about and support Hope to Walk, a locally developed agency that provides prosthetics to people in other countries who cannot afford the cost of these devices. To date, our district Lions have donated more than $20,000 to support this caring enterprise.
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And of course, since 1925 – under the encouragement of Helen Keller, who called Lions to be “Knights of the Blind” – our primary focus has been sight conservation: providing eye screenings, eyeglasses, for lead dogs to help blind people, and funds for eye surgery for many vision problems. Locally, we contribute up to $8,000 per year for eyeglasses for those who need better vision. We work with local vision centers, optometrists and others who provide vision-related services.
At least once a year, our Lions Club of Christiansburg travels to Roanoke to work in the Eyeglass Recycling Center, washing, sorting and packaging lenses for worldwide distribution. Not only is it a good work trip, but also a fun trip for us Lions as we share pizza and other meals with each other!
We also participate in annual vision screenings at local schools for students in Montgomery County and others. It helps us connect with the next generation of students who may one day become Lions and continue the work we do now. It’s exciting to be with the students as we see them change from year to year!
Halfway through the year, we are just months away from our annual Lions Club Holiday Craft Show, which generates a large portion of the funds for our community outreach and services. This year’s show will be our 32nd year and we are grateful for the support of our community, sponsors and others who help us organize this early Christmas shopping event, to help us be in the spirit of giving ! Mark your calendars for the first Saturday in December.
As Lions, we are affiliated with other Virginia Lions Clubs and are also part of Lions International. In this way, we are part of more than one and a half million other Lions throughout the world in more than 200 other Lions Clubs. This relationship is in addition to our support and encouragement to respond to needs around the world, such as hurricanes and earthquakes in other countries.
We take our international motto “We Serve!” very seriously. and are both happy to be Lions and proud of the communities in which we are active in offering support and care to others!
— Submitted by Lion Doug Kanney