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Lions Mobilize $1.5 Million for China Earthquake Relief
Date:5/15/2008

As the only international volunteer service organization in China, Lions clubs are responding to immediate and long-term needs

OAK BROOK, Ill., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) announced that it is mobilizing US$1.5 million to aid Lions-led relief efforts in China.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060103/CGTU003LOGO )

Lions and LCIF are already responding to the powerful, massive earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in central China on Monday, May 12. Lions in Hong Kong and Macau have raised US$600,000 and LCIF has committed an initial grant of US$500,000 to address immediate needs and provide medicines, clothing, blankets, water purification and temporary housing. Lions have already sent 5,000 tents for displaced victims, and more are on the way. Through a vast network of Lions clubs members in Hong Kong and China, Lions and LCIF are also dispatching relief teams to the affected areas to deliver supplies and assist with hands-on relief efforts.

"As the only international volunteer service organization in China, Lions Clubs International Foundation is working hand in hand with Lions in the area to assess and address immediate needs. Through our grassroots network of Lions in the affected communities, we are able to get relief supplies to those in the most need very quickly," said Lions Clubs International Foundation Chairperson Jimmy Ross.

Similar to Lions' response to other worldwide natural disasters, LCIF expects donations from Lions around the world to surpass US$400,000 in the first week. These immediate funds will help address immediate needs. Additional funds raised from Lions in the coming weeks will go toward long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation needs such as housing, schools and eye health care.

Lions have a long history of working with the Chinese government to provide humanitarian service. Since 2002, Lions Clubs International has been the first and only international volunteer service group to be officially recognized by the Chinese government. China's government issued an executive order that was countersigned by the Chinese premier to officially establish two pilot Lions clubs in Shenzhen and Guangdong. Today, there are 1,655 Lions clubs members in 79 clubs in China in addition to 1,429 Lions in 62 clubs in Hong Kong and Macau.

Lions service in China began in 1997 with the SightFirst program. SightFirst is LCIF's blindness prevention program aimed at addressing and reversing preventable blindness. Through SightFirst China Action, LCIF has invested more than US$30 million to build up eye care services and eradicate preventable blindness, which was matched with US$200 million from the Chinese government. Those funds supported 4.6 million cataract surgeries in China and Tibet, established 104 surgical eye units in rural areas and trained eye health care workers where there previously were none. LCIF is providing sustainable eye care services for rural poor populations.

To support Lions' relief efforts, contributions can be made to the Lions China Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. Donations continue to support immediate needs and will assist in long-term rebuilding efforts. Donations from U.S. residents are tax deductible.

U.S. donors can:

-- Donate Online Now and note in comments field that donation is for

"Lions China Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund."

http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/lions_lcif_online_donation.shtml

-- Mail a check to LCIF. Make the check payable to LCIF and write

"Lions China Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund" in the memo

field. Send the check to LCIF, 300 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523,

USA, Attn.: Donor Services.

-- Make a credit card donation with a MasterCard, Visa or American Express

by calling LCIF at 630-571-5466, ext. 517 or 581. Call between 8 a.m.

and 4:30 p.m. CST Monday-Friday.

Donors outside the United States can:

-- Donate Online Now and note in comments field that donation is for

"Lions China Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund."

http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/lions_lcif_online_donation.shtml

-- Make a credit card donation with a MasterCard, Visa or American Express

by faxing to LCIF the name of your credit card, credit card number,

expiration date and amount of donation. LCIF's fax number is

630-571-5735.

-- Mail LCIF a U.S. dollar check drawn on a U.S. financial institution.

Make the check payable to LCIF and write "Lions China Earthquake

Disaster Relief Fund" in the memo field. Send the check to LCIF,

300 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA, Attn.: Donor Services.

-- Make a direct deposit of local currency into an existing LCI account.

Specify "Lions China Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund " on the

deposit slip and send a copy to LCIF via fax (630-571-5735).

-- Do a direct wire transfer. For assistance with this option or the other

donation options, contact LCIF Donor Services at lcif@lionsclubs.org or

by phone at 630-571-5466, ext. 404.

Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with nearly 1.3 million members in 202 geographic areas and countries. LCIF was ranked by a Financial Times' study as the number one non-governmental organization with which to partner. Established in 1968, LCIF has been involved with blindness prevention and treatment for more than 15 years through the SightFirst program. Learn more about LCIF and Campaign SightFirst II efforts by visiting http://www.lcif.org.


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SOURCE Lions Clubs International
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