Here in Montana, our local clubs focus on collecting and providing eyeglasses and vision screening in schools and underserved communities throughout the state. Lions Gift of Sight is a full-service eye bank that has worked to address needs associated with corneal transplants for over 60 years. In addition, Montana’s District 37 Lions Clubs have provided significant grant funding for Leader Dogs for the Blind, as well as for other programs that assist the blind and visually impaired.
Thanks to referrals by the Deaf and Blind School in Great Falls, we’ve also provided low vision tablets for 400 Montanans with low vision, which now allows them to fully participate in school, at work and at home. We also have collection places for eyeglasses around the state where individuals can donate their unused eyeglasses to be distributed to persons in need worldwide. Collection spots can be found in many optometrist offices, as well as in various private businesses throughout the state.
For nearly 50 years, Lions Clubs International (LCI) has made helping the hearing impaired a top priority. In Montana, our Montana Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation provides eye surgeries and hearing aids to fellow Montanans who demonstrate financial need. Our local initiatives include public awareness campaigns on identifying hearing issues in youth, funding guide dog programs for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and financial assistance for equipment and surgeries.
Our Lions Clubs International Foundation partners with the World Health Organization to bring diabetes screening and educational programs to communities around the world. Montana Lions are well aware of the diabetes needs across our state and work closely with the American Diabetes Association to refer people who need low-vision equipment or provide referrals to other resources. District 37 Lions Clubs also host summer camps (as part of an endorsed project) where children with diabetes can learn how to manage their disease better.
47 Montana children ages 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. So, Montana Lions make it a priority to support organizations that provide services for diagnosed youth and their families. Our goal is to help enrich the quality of life for those experiencing this incredibly difficult situation.
The Montana Lions understand that the Earth’s natural resources and atmosphere are essential for our quality of life and survival. With global climate change, overconsumption, and extractive industries, there is no better time to join us in becoming environmentalists.
The purpose of the Foundation as stated in the By-Laws is: “Plan, develop, and maintain a unified program by which each and every Lions Club in Montana may participate voluntarily in providing services to sight, hearing and/or speech impaired persons. The Foundation may receive any property, real, personal, or mixed by gift, device, bequest . . . The Foundation will operate exclusively for charitable, educational, literary, or scientific purpose.”
The Foundation is dedicated to providing assistance, through the Lions Clubs of Montana, to Montanans in need of assistance with sight, hearing and/or speech problems.
Florence Crittenton Family Services is an organization that provides family-centered, trauma-responsive support and services to help young families thrive. Their programs include mental health care services, substance abuse recovery, parenting education, access to community supports, and childcare and preschool.
Leader Dogs’ mission is to empower people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel. The loss of sight can be the beginning of a life changing reality, so the team at Leader Dog provides all services, including dog training, at no cost to their clients.
Lions Club International Foundation empowers Lions Clubs, volunteers, and partners to improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants, on an international scale. Their mission is to provide service to improve communities and the greater world.
The Montana Association for the Blind’s central goal is to promote self-sufficiency for blind and visually impaired Montanans. They facilitate education, training, and employment services for those in need. They also promote a positive understanding of blindness and encourage accessibility in everyday life and in all opportunities.
Montana Youth Diabetes Alliance’s mission is to enrich the lives of Montana youth living with Type 1 Diabetes. They provide safe, fun, educational opportunities through summer camps and other events. MYDA also provides financial assistance and resources to families navigating diabetes-related support systems.
Lions Projects are endorsed only after being vetted, to ensure all donations are being spent wisely, with low administrative overhead. (No Lions member ever receives compensation for serving.) In addition, projects are endorsed only once it’s determined that they will provide high quality services that we can all be proud of.