Missouri Lions Club District 26-M4 

Mission Statement

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

Lions throughout the world are dedicated to helping those less fortunate in their communities and around the world. Cutting across all national, racial and cultural boundaries, activities have included:

  • Sight conservation and work with the visually impaired
  • Hearing conservation and work with the hearing impaired
  • Citizenship, educational, health and social services
  • Youth programs including drug education and prevention, community outreach and volunteer programs
  • Diabetes detection and research
  • Work for international cooperation and understanding, including international youth camps, youth exchange programs and Lions International Peace Poster Contest

History of Lions International

The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago businessman Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large. Jones' own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the country, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. The new group took the name of one of the groups invited, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and code of ethics were approved.

In 1920, the "Association of Lions Clubs" became "International' with the formation of the Windsor, Canada Lions Club. The countries of China, Mexico, and Cuba joined our forces by 1927, Central and South America in 1935. Lions reached Europe in 1948 as clubs were chartered in Sweden, Switzerland and France. In 1954, the first club in Japan was chartered.

Helen Keller was born physically normal in 1880 in a small town in Alabama. Helen lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months to an illness now believe to have been scarlet fever. Five years later, on the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents applied to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston for a teacher. From that school, they hired Anne Sullivan who trained Helen to communicate with the world around her. She spoke at the Lions International Convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio on June 30, 1925. Although unable to see her audience or hear their applause, she appealed to the Lions,...

"You who have your sight and hearing.

You who are strong and brave and kind.

Will you not help me hasten the day

When there shall be no preventable blindness?

No deaf blind children untaught.

No blind man or woman unaided.

I appeal to you, lions.

You who have your sight and hearing.

You who are strong and brave and kind.

Will you not constitute yourselves,

Knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness?"

Since that speech, Lions accepted her challenge and have contributed more time and energy to fight blindness than any other organization, foundation or government.