The History of Lions Clubs International


The Beginning - Chicago business leader Melvin Jones asked a simple and world-changing question - what if people put their talents to work improving their communities? Almost 100 years later, Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organisation, with more than 1.3 million members in more than 45,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let's improve our communities.


HelenKellerGoing International - Just three years after its founding, Lions became international when the first club in Canada was established. 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, USA, and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, Lions have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.




Uniting Nations - The ideal of an international organisation is exemplified by its enduring relationship with the United Nations. It was one of the first nongovernmental organisations invited to assist in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and has supported the work of the UN ever since.



Organizing Youth Programs In the late 1950s - Lions 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.


Established Lions Clubs International Foundation - assists Lions with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Through their Foundation, Lions meet the needs of their local and global communities.


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.


Lions Clubs International extends its 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 200 countries and geographic areas.