February 19, 2014

Lions Club prioritizes community projects

Programs include vision care, assistance for needy and mentoring service-minded youth


Few would think to credit Laurel County’s ever-increasing likability and improvement to about a dozen like-minded volunteers in an almost unnoticeable room at Saint Joseph London’s lower cafeteria, but they should: it’s the meeting place for the Laurel Community Lions Club.

The Laurel Community Lions Club is part of Lions Club International, a non-profit organization committed to providing communities with charitable services. Worldwide, it consists of more than 1.35 million members and 46,000 clubs in over 200 countries. Simple, short and sweet, the organization’s motto is “We serve.”

“We can tailor our services to whatever needs the community has,” said Club President Doris Callebs. “We find something in the community and serve where we are needed.”

Chartered in August 2009, past services from Laurel County’s chapter of Lions have included tornado relief via a grant from Lions Club International, annual Christmas food baskets for those in need, providing activities for nursing homes throughout the county, and helping to keep the local homeless shelter well stocked and operational.

“Laurel County is a great place to live and it needs our support to stay that way,” said Callebs. “And we’re always available for projects throughout the county.”

The Laurel Community Lions Club has most recently become known for providing assistance for needy individuals throughout Laurel County.  According to the organization’s website, the trend stems from a 1925 Lions Club International Convention that Helen Keller attended in which she challenged the Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

“We’re able to fill the gap when it comes to vision care for the elderly, low income, or disabled. We can get in contact with eye doctors if we need to discuss serious medical conditions,” Callebs said. “It’s a very important function that a lot of other civic groups cannot perform. And it all started with Helen Keller.”

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