Ready to help, worldwide Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. The 1.35 million members of our volunteer organization in 206 countries and geographic areas are different in many ways, but share a core belief – community is what we make it. Everywhere Lions work, they make friends. With children who need schoolbooks, with seniors who need transportation and with people we may never meet. Lions clubs are led by talented, dedicated volunteer leaders from around the world. And, they are supported by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), which helps to fund Lions humanitarian projects. The Lions’ motto, “We Serve” perfectly exemplifies the dedication to helping those in need felt by Lions worldwide. The distinguished service history of Lions Clubs International dates back to 1917, when it began as the dream of Chicago insurance man Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
Jones’ own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the country, an organizational meeting was held on June 7th, 1917, at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the groups invited, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. Thirty-six delegates representing 22 clubs from nine states were in attendance. The convention began to define what the association was to become. A constitution, by-laws, objects and code of ethics were approved. Since that humble beginning, Lions club members have volunteered their time and talents to meet needs wherever they exist. Lions are especially dedicated to serving the blind and visually impaired, a commitment made after Helen Keller challenged our members to become her “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness” during the 1925 convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA.