The Lions Club of Heston is ably led by Jatinder Kaur. She has a passion to make a difference and doing charitable work is embedded in her DNA. Her grandparents and parents were passionate and caring about helping others. She has continued their legacy by ensuring that her fellow club members make Lions International motto a reality – “where there is a need there is a lion” and “WE Serve.”
So, what is Lions International? It’s the largest service NGO in the world. It has humanitarian focus and works collaboratively with stakeholders ranging from United Nations, World Health Organization and other voluntary and community groups. Its clubs also work in partnership with elected members and local authorities, community and charitable organizations, hospitals, and schools hence where there is a need there is a lion. In short, its efforts are concentrated both nationally and internationally to support those in need. For example, providing aid when international disasters occur such as tsunamis, war torn countries and endemics such as polio.
Jatinder outlined some of the activities she has been involved in: from cooking and working with Food For all an organization that was cooking 5,500 meals a day during COVID and delivering at least 1000 to 1200 meals to hospitals, food banks and community kitchens; collecting surplus food and customer donations from supermarkets and delivering them; providing meals, warm clothes, tents, sleeping bags etc. for the homeless; raising awareness of diabetes and supporting those who are visually impaired or blind.
Lions have continued to take up the challenge set by Hellen Keller (1925) to be the knights of the Blind, partially sighted and deaf and we continue to organize medical and sight camps all over the world.
Her leadership encourages club members to propose and implement service activities close to their heart. Recently this has included the hot meals to schools for children, books for primary school, a bus for a library, and providing opportunities for children which they may not have otherwise, such as going to the theatre. We took 30 special needs children and their carers to see Frozen in theatre. Children and their families were taken out for a day to the KIA Oval cricket ground to be play with the Surrey Cricket team and entertained for the day. We have competitions and programs for children within their schools to think outside of the box and see the opportunities available beyond their immediate circle.
In May for world hunger day our District Governor, Kavaljit, is organizing an event “Feeding The Five Thousand”; an amazing service activity.
Jatinder said that when we carry out these activities it “grounds you, making you realise what you have in life but most importantly the love and gratitude received back from those served is absolutely wonderful”.
Membership is open to all because anyone wanting to volunteer and serve others is most welcome and appreciated. In the UK, Lion clubs are operating in almost every borough. Lions Club offers individuals participation in fellowship, fun and helping others. The constitution of our clubs is inclusive with diverse individuals who are committed to preserving the continuity of community service and fundraising to those in need. You will receive a warm welcome as a volunteer who will be valued for supporting people, being just you.
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