Founded in 1950, the Huntsville Lions Club has provided Huntsville voluntary services by directly funding eye examinations, eyeglasses, visual aid equipment and guide dogs for those in need in the community.
The Huntsville Lions Club is part of the international public service organization Lions Club International, which has over 45,000 clubs spanning over 200 countries.
“It is about community and about serving,” Lions Club member Sheryl Miller said. “I am sure there are other organizations that would drop whatever they are doing to come help, but these people do, and they don’t miss a beat.”
According to the Huntsville Lions Club website, the club consists of 44 members who help the community by providing vision and health screenings, park buildings, supporting eye hospitals, awarding scholarships, assisting youth and providing help in time of disaster.
“We are a service organization; any money that we collect during fundraisers or anything like that, goes into a project fund,” Huntsville Lions Club president Jeannie White said. “Our club is run on member dues. 100% of what we get in goes right back out to help the community.”
Along with providing the community with emergency assistance, the club also helps send local campers to Texas Lions Camp. The Texas Lions Camp helps children with physical disabilities explore and discover new interests and abilities through a summer full of activities.
“Another big one is helping handicapped children. If we have any handicapped children that need to go camping for the summer we send them,” White said. “It doesn’t cost their parents anything. We’ll even take them and pick them up.”
The organization does more than community service. They work hard to make holiday celebrations in Huntsville special by helping sponsor the Huntsville Lions Club Christmas Parade.
“Our Christmas parade is hosted by the Lions Club, which is a huge community effort,” Miller said. “We put the flags up for the 4th of July and Memorial Day in honor of our veterans and those who have served, which is always a very big deal.”
The Huntsville Lions Club also receives many donations from the community, whether that is a pair of eyeglasses or un-recyclable plastic bags.
“I am also one of our hubs for our plastic bag project,” White said. “So, we collect non-recyclable plastic bags and send them to this company called ‘Trex’ after we get 500 pounds of plastic bags they send us a bench made out of plastic bags to put into our community. We are working on bench number five right now.”
The Huntsville Lions Club meets every Thursday at noon at the Grand Buffet in Huntsville. On the fifth Thursday of the month, the Lions Club gets together to partake in a community service activity for different places around the city.