Who We Are

Our 46,000 clubs and 1.4+ million members make us the world's largest service club organization. We're also one of the most effective. Our members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. Everywhere we work, we make friends. With children who need eyeglasses, with seniors who don’t have enough to eat and with people we may never meet.

How We Serve

In over 200 countries, in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers, Lions are doing community volunteer work, helping, leading, planning and supporting. Because we're local, we can serve the unique needs of the communities we live in. And because we're global, we can address challenges that go beyond borders.

Mission

To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.

Vision

To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.

Purpose

  • To Organize, charter and supervise service clubs to be known as Lions clubs.
  • To Coordinate the activities and standardize the administration of Lions clubs.
  • To Create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
  • To Promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
  • To Take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
  • To Unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
  • To Provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.
  • To Encourage service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.

Ethics

  • To Show my faith in the worthiness of my vocation by industrious application to the end that I may merit a reputation for quality of service.
  • To Seek success and to demand all fair remuneration or profit as my just due, but to accept no profit or success at the price of my own self-respect lost because of unfair advantage taken or because of questionable acts on my part.
  • To Remember that in building up my business it is not necessary to tear down another's; to be loyal to my clients or customers and true to myself.
  • Whenever a doubt arises as to the right or ethics of my position or action towards others, to resolve such doubt against myself.
  • To Hold friendship as an end and not a means. To hold that true friendship exists not on account of the service performed by one to another, but that true friendship demands nothing but accepts service in the spirit in which it is given.
  • Always to bear in mind my obligations as a citizen to my nation, my state, and my community, and to give them my unswerving loyalty in word, act, and deed. To give them freely of my time, labor and means.
  • To Aid others by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the weak, and my substance to the needy.
  • To Be Careful with my criticism and liberal with my praise; to build up and not destroy.

History

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones' group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. Within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we've earned high marks for both integrity and transparency. We're a well-run organization with a steady vision, a clear mission, and a long – and proud – history.

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Association Name and Symbol

The name was not selected at random, neither was it a coined name. From time immemorial, the lion has been the symbol of all that was good, and because of the symbolism that name was chosen. Four outstanding qualities – Courage, Strength, Activity and Fidelity – had largely to do with the adoption of the name. The last mentioned of these qualities, Fidelity, has a deep and peculiar significance for all Lions. The lion symbol has been a symbol of Fidelity through the ages and among all nations, ancient and modern. It stands for loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a principle, loyalty to a duty, loyalty to a trust.

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Melvin Jones

Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. As a young man, Melvin Jones made his home in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency. He soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. "What if these men," Melvin Jones asked, "who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?" Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men's clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born.

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Helen Keller

Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, in 1880, Helen Keller developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind and deaf. With the help of an exceptional teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind, Helen Keller learned sign language and braille. A few years later, she learned to speak. As an adult she became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. And in 1925, she attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." The Lions accepted her challenge and our work ever since has included sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.

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Be A Lion

When it comes to meeting challenges, our response is simple: we serve. As a Lions Club member, you’ll join a local group of service-minded men and women who volunteer to support your community every day. You’ll also become a member of Lions Clubs International – a respected international organization, a leader in your local community, and a friend to people in need.

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