I am writing to tell your readers about my experience with the Lions Club.
The direct reason I became involved with this volunteer group is because of its work to help better the lives of people with vision impairment and blindness, and to help them better integrate into the community around them.
Over 125 years ago, Helen Keller, deaf and blind from infancy, played a leading role in many of the significant political, social and cultural movements of the 20th century, working unceasingly to improve the lives of people who were blind and deaf. In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions International Convention, challenging members to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” From that time, Lions clubs have been actively involved in service to the blind and visually impaired.
I found my way to the Lions Club three years ago. Being a member has provided me the opportunity to share my story of being a visually impaired member of the community. It was through the Lions Club and its generous support of the Guide Dog Foundation that I received my guide dog, Fia. Through the Voluntary Service for the Blind, another program supported by the Lions, I am helped weekly by a volunteer to do my grocery shopping.
The Lions Club helps support scientific research efforts at Yale and the University of Connecticut to eradicate blindness in our lifetime by our contributions to the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation. The Lions Low Vision Center at Greenwich Hospital, of which I am a client, helps people with vision loss deal with a visual world by offering adaptive devices like magnifiers and electronic readers.
Through the support of the Lions Club, I am able to lead a fulfilling life. I have a civic involvement in my community, contributing wherever I can help. It has given me great personal satisfaction to look the world straight in the face while holding my head high.
Causes to support this time of year are many. Remembering the Lions Club would assuredly help expand our reach.
Alan Gunzburg, Greenwich Lions
The writer is president of the Greenwich Lions Club.