2020 Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: Downtown Lions Club Charities Inc
Address: 4712 E 2nd St #434
City: Long Beach
Mission: To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs
Budget: Projected $60,000, 100% invested into the community
Grantpurpose: Provide eye exams and glasses to any LBUSD student in need
What-is-project: Downtown Lions Clubs Charities has an ongoing program that for many years has provided free eye exams and glasses to any LBUSD student in need. Most of the students have been referred to us through the school nurses. One of our members, Marilyn Russell-Bittle, is past President of the California Teachers Association and is in charge of the program, as she has many contacts within the LBUSD. In 2018-19 our charities provided $54,000 for 373 eye exams and 275 pairs of glasses. The cost averages $150 per student. It is a fit as we are already working with the school district on this program and have been doing it for many years. Detecting and correcting vision problems at an early age has been proven to help with childhood learning.
How-will-you-succeed: We keep a constant record of students served and expenses. The Downtown Lions Clubs Charities board has dedicated all charities funds from our investment portfolio to the program. We fund student eye exams and glasses with a one time annual withdrawal of 5% of the corpus, approximately $35,000 a year, and supplement it as needed through fundraising. Any other service activities require separate fundraising.
Who-are-you: Serving the vision health needs of students is our main charitable activity. Lions Clubs worldwide support the the preservation of sight and health issues that can cause blindness such as diabetes and river fever. On June 30th 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention and asked, “Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?”. The challenge has been met since then, and our organization aspires to be “Knights of the Blind” through this call. The Downtown Lions have served in the Long Beach community since 1921. Our mission is: To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs. Our motto is, “We Serve
The purposes and objectives shall be:
(a) To create and foster a spirit of understanding among the people of the world.
(b) To promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
(c) To take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
(d) To unite the members in the bonds of friendship and good fellowship.
(e) To provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest, provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by the Club members during meetings of this Club, and at no time shall the Club endorse or recommend any candidate for any public office.
(f) To encourage service minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.
We have sponsored 3 health fairs in the past 7 years with participation from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and California Lions Friends in Sight. We were able to provide 400 free eye exams and recycled glasses in one day, as well as free blood sugar and cholesterol testing. We are currently providing COVID-19 food relief with a LBCF grant, and through this have partnered with the Washington Neighborhood Association, Speaker Anthony Rendon, Puente Latino Association, LA Regional Food Bank, and Ricardo’s Nursery.