What an exciting time is almost upon us, the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. This is always such a great time for LIONS. Lions clubs go all out to help those who are less fortunate. This is a time when we help the food banks fill their shelves. We set up in cooperative grocery stores and get the patrons to donate needed food. My Club here in Elgin received over 900 lbs. of food and cash of over $100. A great time was had by all. Other clubs have many warm hats and gloves to donate which is great because the cold weather is almost here. Turkeys are being purchased and donated to those who are unable to buy them for their holiday dinners. It is so exciting to help those who are in need. When your club asks for help in one of these endeavors, please respond with a resounding YES.
Now to change from service projects to news from International President Corlew. He just announced that membership in LIONS Clubs around the world has surpassed the 1.4 million mark. Just four years ago when I was a District Governor, the membership number was 1.3 million members. What an accomplishment. President Corlew also announced that the goal of the LIONS new strategic plan, LCI FORWARD, is to triple the service impact by serving 200 million people a year by the year 2021. Right now each LIONS club member serves on the average 70 people. More members mean that we can provide more service to the people who need us. We need to use this strategic plan to motivate us to add and retain members.
If your club has trouble retaining members, Vice Council Chair Hank Calhoun has an excellent letter that he sends out to members who have dropped out of their club. He thanks them and then asks them to send back the reason or reasons why they dropped their membership. The club can then look at answers that are returned and, if needed, change procedures. It is a very handy tool.
So as we go into this holiday season, remember why we are LIONS: Service.