When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, Lions are among the first to offer relief. When an earthquake devastated Haiti; when Hurricane Katrina struck the US; when Samoa was struck by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami; the Canterbury earthquakes; the Japanese quake and following tsunami - Lions were there to provide immediate and long-term disaster relief.
Lions Clubs International Foundation awards more than US$2 million in grants each year to fund Lions’ relief efforts. Generous donations from Lions around the world make these humanitarian efforts possible. Disaster Preparedness and Relief Programmes also enable Lions to help local communities – and contribute to Lions’ relief efforts in other countries – in the event of a natural, man-made or healthcare emergency.
In 2009 Lions and Red Cross pledged to work together as a partnership in the event of a disaster and the Christchurch Earthquake was the first global situation where this happened. The head office of Red Cross was manned by Lions and co-branded volunteers went door knocking to check on the health and welfare of local people in the quake zone. Red Cross took this story back to an international forum as a glowing example of the working partnership in operation.
Photo: Pago Pago Lions deliver emergency supplies after the Samoan earthquake and tsunami.