LCIF Tsunami Relief Update

Bulletin 2 – Jan. 5, 2005

 

Lions in Action

Supported by LCIF, several thousand local Lions are now providing immediate relief aid such as food, water and clothing from the west coast of India to Thailand and south to Indonesia . Local Lions in hundreds of places are at the scenes of the disaster, helping to organize relief and ensuring that people get vital relief supplies. Lions from nearby nations also have sent volunteer workers. The Taiwan Lions, for example, sent a medical team to Sri Lanka . The service of Lions is enabling communities to take care of their children, elderly, those with disabilities and other especially vulnerable people.

 

Here are a few examples of how local Lions are helping victims in South Asia :

 

Generosity of Lions

LCIF’s grants for the tsunami disaster, made possible, of course, by prior donations by Lions, now total US$470,000 and will climb much higher as needs are continually assessed and requests for assistance are made. Additionally, Lions throughout the world are making pledges of support, including US$120,000 from the Lions of Sweden and US$200,000 from the Lions of Korea.

 

Hundreds of clubs and individuals also have sent funds to LCIF. The Vancouver Metropolitan Lions Club in Canada , for example, sent LCIF a check for US$6,600. Club President Raymond Wong told LCIF, “Everyday we saw on the news that the amount of casualties are increasing by the thousands.  We share the same view of most Lions that we have to do something to support the unfortunate people who have to deal with this great tragedy. We hope this small token of donations can bring some immediate help to the people in those regions. In the meantime, I have taken the initiative to ask the other clubs in our district to support this great cause.”

 

LCIF’s Long-Term Aid

LCIF provides immediate relief and long-term reconstruction after a disaster. LCIF is not only helping people stay alive after the tsunami but it also will rebuild communities for years to come. The real impact of LCIF’s assistance to South Asia will be fully realized in the next several years as LCIF partners with Lions to rebuild homes, schools and community centers. This long-term approach plays to the strength of LCIF and Lions, who belong to their communities, understand local needs and know how to get things done.

 

LCIF’s prior success with disaster relief in South Asia bodes well for its initiatives in response to the tsunami. LCIF has recently assisted with aid and reconstruction in the aftermath of two major natural disasters in India .  In 2001, US$2.5 million was mobilized to assist communities rebuild after the Gujarat earthquake.  The funds built 734 homes for people displaced by the earthquake, 20 primary schools, and a general hospital.  In 2000, LCIF assisted with almost US$500,000 to assist rebuild areas affected by the Orissa cyclone.  A total of 360 homes, nine community centers, five schools, and two orphanages were constructed. 

 

How to Donate

LCIF established the South Asia Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund (#5105) for Lions, clubs, districts and others to assist relief efforts by Lions. The funds are supporting immediate needs such as food and water and will support long-term reconstruction needs.

 

U.S. donors can:

·        Mail a check to LCIF. Make the check payable to LCIF and write “tsunami relief” 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 554. Call between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CST.

 

Donors outside the United States can:

 

Since this is a donation to a specific initiative, it is not eligible for Melvin Jones Fellowship recognition. The main purpose of the MJF program is to encourage and recognize Lions who donate unrestricted funds to LCIF to support all of the foundation's grant program and to provide for our annual funding.  Allowing MJF recognition for donations to a specific disaster could cause a sharp drop in unrestricted donations and impact LCIF’s ability to fund its many programs.

 

However, donations for tsunami relief are counted toward an individual’s and a club’s cumulative giving totals to LCIF, which help qualify an individual and club for various recognition programs. Also, the names of individuals and clubs that make significant donations will be posted on a new Web site LCIF is creating on the disaster. All donors will be recognized in special reports in the near future,

 

Note that LCIF is unable to accept offers of goods such as blankets, clothing or food. It is not logistically feasible for LCIF to process and transport such donations.

 

 

Why Donate to LCIF

Lions who donate to other relief agencies or Lions districts that donate directly to another district affected by the tsunami are to be commended for their generosity. But donating to LCIF carries several important advantages.

 

 

 

 

 

Accountability

As a rule, LCIF does not send funding to local Lions districts without knowing precise needs and without assurance that the local Lions are avoiding duplication of efforts. Donors can rest assured also knowing there is strict oversight of grants:

 

·        All Emergency Grants are awarded solely on the basis of a detailed application from the affected district. A specific action plan must be presented and must include which villages and how many people will be helped and what relief items will be purchased.

 

·        Districts provide final reports that must include documentation, receipts and bank account statements for the funds disbursed, along with photos of the relief effort and other details.  In South Asia, those final reports are audited and double-checked by LCIF’s office in Bombay .

 

·        LCIF has been awarding Emergency Grants in these countries for 30 years and has vast experience in ensuring proper coordination and accountability.

 

·        The local Lions who are spending the Emergency Grants also use their own funds and in many instances spend double or triple the amount that LCIF awarded them, which speaks to the care in which Lions use LCIF funds.

 

LCIF will continue to keep you updated through these bulletins. Also, in the near future, LCIF  will have a new Web site containing the latest information on the tsunami disaster. Its address will be www.lions-tsunami.org.

 

More funds will be awarded by LCIF in the coming days as needs are assessed.  Your generosity is deeply appreciated and your continued support is desperately needed.