Lions set out donation guidelines

21751426_10159325555150704_9030396913754469290_n.jpgThe Westport Lions Club can help people and organizations in ways other than financial aid. We often donate time and our resources to assist worthy causes. In the above photo, Lion Michael Harris enjoys carving food at a recent luncheon put on by the Lions for local seniors.    

Our semi-annual donation period at the end of October is fast approaching so I thought it would be helpful if the community knows the general purpose, objectives and guidelines that the Westport Lions Club uses when making donations to individuals and organizations. In the past, we dealt with requests as they came in on ad hoc basis. Although this method assisted people in a timely fashion, it caused problems for fair distribution. If a request came it at the beginning of the Lions’ year we tended to be more generous because there was more money in the pot. Requests that came in the late spring often suffered because there were limited funds available.

In recent years we have moved to two donation periods. One is in October, and the second one is in April. The members take the money available and divide it into two and we try to stay within the limit for each time period. This way we do not short change requests that come in later. The two time periods also helps us to see the big picture in terms of the needs of the community and to prioritize the requests.

Our main focus is on our youth, their mental and physical development and seniors, their mental and physical well-being. Also, we will assist people that are in pain, suffering and in financial hardship due to illness or disaster. In terms of community requests, we ask ourselves how the donation will be beneficial to the community.

One of the mandates of Lions Clubs International is sight related service projects. In 1925, at the Lions Clubs International Convention held in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller in a stirring speech challenged the members to become, “Knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” This address led to the Lions Clubs adopting vision loss as its primary focus for community service. If you want to watch an inspiring re-enactment of Helen’s speech click on the following link: http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/who-we-are/mission-and-history/helen-keller.php

The Westport Lions Club assists the community in many ways other than contributing financially. A few examples are the mobility vans, luncheons for seniors and donating food and organizing fundraiser dinners for the Westport Library.

If you wish to ask for financial aid, then you should put it in writing, stating the purpose and reasons you need the financial assistance. It is always best to state the amount you need, or at least a range, and the date you need the funds by, if the request is time sensitive. You can either send the request by email, westportontariolions@gmail.com, or send it to the Westport Lions Club, PO Box 428, Westport, ON K0G 1X0. All requests that are received will be placed in a funding file and will be revisited either at the end of October or in April. All fall donation requests should be received by the first week in October.


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