Lions are performing volunteer work to improve communities around the world. We are meeting and working on plans for local projects. We're sponsoring international exchanges for young people. We're building. We're sharing. We're repairing. We're having fun!
We have community clubs that:
meet in person
cyber clubs that meet online
- special interest clubs that can be based on your profession, hobby or anything you care about
Each club matches the needs of its members to help them support their community by doing volunteer work – right now!!
Lions Clubs International History
Beginning in 1917:
Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, asked
a simple and world-changing question – what if people put
their talents to work improving their communities? He told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world.
After contacting similar groups around the United States,
an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in
Chicago, Illinois. 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 same year.
A constitution, by-laws, objects and a code of ethics were approved and within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we've earned high marks for both integrity and transparency.
1920: Going International
Just three years after our founding, Lions became international when we established the first club in Canada and Mexico followed in 1927. In the 1950s and 1960s international growth accelerated with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa.
1925: Eradicating Blindness
Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.
1945: Uniting Nations
The ideal of an international organization is exemplified by our enduring relationship with the United Nations. We were one of the first nongovernmental organizations invited to assist in drafting of the United Nations Charter and have supported the work of the UN ever since.
1957: Organizing Youth Programs
In the late 1950s, we created the Leo Program to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are approximately 144,000 Leos and 5,700 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.
1968: Establishing Our Foundation
LCI assists Lions with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Through our Foundation, Lions meet the needs of their local and global communities.
1990: Launching SightFirst
Through SightFirst, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on a global scale. Launched in 1990, Lions have raised more than $346 million for this initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: cataract, trachoma, river blindness, childhood blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Today: Extending Our Reach
Lions Clubs International extends our mission of service every day – in local communities, in all corners of the globe. The needs are
great and our services broad, including sight, health, youth, elderly, the environment and disaster relief.
Our international network has grown to include more than 147,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographic areas.
We're a well-run organization with a clear mission,
a long and proud history and a steady vision.