Ever since the famous American advocate for the blind, Helen Keller challenged the members of Lions Clubs International to be “Knights of the Blind”, Lions have worked tirelessly towards that end. Throughout the world Lions have raised funds and set up projects to help others with vision problems. Eighty percent of blindness is curable or preventable. It could be a simple matter of a cataract operation, a clean supply of water or an inexpensive pill to prevent River Blindness. Over the years Lions have raised well in excess of $300 million for the blind.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Association, the Irish Lions set themselves the target of raising over €120,000 for the Blind. We are well on our way to achieve that target. The funds raised by the Clubs in the Republic of Ireland will go to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind who will use it to help fund their breeding diversification programme. The monies raised by our Clubs in Northern Ireland will go to Guide Dogs Northern Ireland and they will use that money in their training programme.
Every cent or penny raised will go to the cause. Both the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs Northern Ireland have agreed that nothing will be taken out for administration. This is in line with our core ethos and practice that all funds raised from the public must go to the cause.
What the Lions Clubs of Ireland and Irish Guide Dogs want to achieve together:
Together we can enable persons who are vision impaired and families of children with autism across Ireland to have brighter, more confident futures through mobility and independence. We partner with organisations that have a strong commitment to social inclusion for the development and betterment of our society. We believe society will be richer and more rewarding when we enable all to participate and contribute across all aspects on their own terms. Our society is poorer when we exclude those contributions. Together we make a tangible difference to society and the lives of our clients, families, friends and colleagues. We hold ourselves accountable in this regard and critically measure our performance and progress in positive social impact.
Padraig Mallon, CEO, Irish Guide Dogs, said: “We would like to thank the Lions for their immense generosity. By donating your time and helping to raise much needed funds, you are really playing an important and significant role in supporting our operations here at Irish Guide Dogs. 80% of our income comes from fundraising and donations so it really is vital to enabling us to continue to transform lives and work to improve communities. The funds raised by Lions will go directly into our Breeding Diversification Program which each year will build and bring about significant improvements in our partnership matching ratios and will significantly reduce our waiting lists allowing us to get to ever more people in need and sooner.”