The Lions Clubs of Barbados Celebrates 50 Years

TLions Club celebrates 50 yearshe Lions Clubs of Barbados are depending on Barbadians for their support as this organisation continues to work for the good of the community.

That reminder came from Lions District Governor of Sub District 60 B, Lloyd Barker who was speaking yesterday morning at the Lions Club of Bridgetown’s 50th anniversary church service at the James Street Methodist Church, James Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael.

“The Lions Clubs are depending on you for all the assistance you can give. When you see us coming around for donations, doing fundraisers and so on, we do it for the good of the community,” said Barker.

He said that the Lions Clubs foremost contribution was towards the preservation of sight but over the years, it has been extended to include other humanitarian efforts that render assistance to the less fortunate.

Barker added that the Lions Clubs have been assisting those who need it most including persons overseas in Haiti, Japan and St. Lucia who were impacted by natural disasters in recent times.
He noted that the Lions Club of Bridgetown, then called the Lions Club of Barbados, was the first to be chartered in Barbados in 1961.

Currently, there are eight Lions Clubs and two Leo Clubs in Barbados and in the District, 61 Lions Clubs with 2 000 members and 40 Leo Clubs.

In his sermon, Rev. Colton Bennett who has been a Lion for 45 years implored those in attendance to be imitators of Christ.

Rev. Bennett said the church and organisations such as the Lions “are not places for prima donnas. When you do things and you don’t get praise, you should not sulk and walk away. You should not be looking for prestige or doing it for thanks.”

He said that persons should serve the community in humility whether it is in the church, clubs or in any other capacity.

The reverend recognised many stalwarts of the Lions who have passed on and others who are present today. He stressed that they are serving not necessarily for thanks or glory but because God wants us to use our talents and gifts.

The Lions Club of Bridgetown also presented a donation to the church at the service. (AR)

Lions need support to serve more

The Carmel Lions Club (Indiana) celebrated 75 years of service this spring with Lions from throughout Indiana and many friends of the Lions.

We are very proud of our service to Carmel over the past 75 years. We are extremely excited about what we will accomplish over the next 75 years. We are a growing and dynamic club.

With nearly 100 members, our service to Carmel, the state of Indiana and the world community continues to grow. We need the continued assistance of the Carmel community to sustain our growth.

First, please patronize our many great community events. We have two exciting upcoming events: The IU Health North Hospital Pumpkin Patch 5K, presented by the Carmel Lions Club, will be Saturday, Oct. 8, and our Fall Pancake Breakfast will be Saturday, Oct. 22.

We just concluded our 73rd annual fish fry, which is the longest-running community event in Carmel. Other events include our strawberry festival during the CarmelFest parade, breakfast brat sales at the Carmel Farmers Market, spring rummage sale and holiday fruit sale.

Second, please consider joining the Carmel Lions. The more members we have, the more people we can help. We provide meaningful service opportunities to those with busy family and professional schedules.

All our events, including meetings, are family-friendly.

Meetings are the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at our clubhouse at 141 East Main St. in the Arts and Design District. We have no mandatory attendance requirements.

The Lions’ motto is, “We Serve.”

We provide eye exams and glasses to those in need in Carmel. We are parade marshalls for the CarmelFest Parade. We assist in providing leader dogs to the visually impaired at no cost. We provide meeting space for senior citizens, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H.

When disaster strikes Indiana, Haiti or Japan, Lions are there with immediate assistance. We collect and sort used eyeglasses (these eyeglasses are provided to the needy in Third World countries at no charge).

We support Meals on Wheels, Children’s Wish Fund and the Carmel Clay Historical Society, among many others.

Disaster plans crucial to weathering crisis

Risk managers, others offer catastrophe management lessons learned the hard way
by: Russ Banham

t’s hurricane season in the United States, and so far the tempests have been kind. But, as the extraordinary array of natural catastrophes in recent years has indicated, Mother Nature is merely providing a reprieve.

 Learning from past disasters helped the Miami-Dade County Public Schools cope well with future hurricanes, according to the district’s risk and benefits officer, Scott Clark. “When Hurricane Andrew struck in August 1992, we suffered a $95 million loss from the ground up,” said Mr. Clark, who also is the president of the New York-based Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. “What we learned there we have carried forward, and have not endured any really significant property losses since.”

Under Mr. Clark’s watch are some 360 schools, comprising more than 1,500 buildings that collectively represent $8.2 billion in property risk. The key lesson Mr. Clark learned was to remove any and all equipment from the roofs of schools and other facilities. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, among other machinery, had broken free of their moorings during Hurricane Andrew and punctured the roofs. Once the envelope of a building is opened, the real damage begins, Mr. Clark said.

“We’ve removed all the stuff off the roofs and now have it stored on ground in cement bunkers,” he said. “In schools that have flat roofs, we’ve built an 18-inch high parapet along the perimeter at top to reduce the possibility of debris hitting the roof. This way the parapet, and not the roof, suffers damage.”

Also learning from past losses is Andy Salipante, loss-prevention manager at Chesterfield Services Inc., a third-party administrator in Uniontown, Ohio, that has been representing the Salvation Army since 1947. “Our losses from Hurricane Katrina guided the funding of a hurricane-impact survey of all major buildings in excess of $10 million each,” Mr. Salipante said. “This, in turn, allowed us to do things we should have done in the past, such as removing or tying down equipment on roofs, replacing the flashing, installing 140-mph (wind-resistant) windows, and creating an emergency response plan that directs people to tie down interior furnishings. We’re much better prepared when the next one hits.”

Messrs. Clark and Salipante are two of several risk managers who learned hard lessons from previous natural disasters. In interviews with other risk managers and loss prevention experts at risk consultancies, law firms, insurance brokers and insurers, the best of all best practices for minimizing natural catastrophe and related human losses is this: Assess their impact well beforehand.

“Constructing scenarios of what can happen is essential, yet many organizations fail to do so,” said Howard Kunreuther, professor of decision sciences and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Others agree. “All companies in disaster-prone areas need to undertake failure mode and effects analyses, where a bunch of people in the organization get together and imagine worst-case scenarios, and how the business will sustain itself during such events,” said Robert Wolf, staff partner-risk management at the Society of Actuaries in Schaumburg, Ill. “The goal is to quantify potential costs to prioritize mitigation strategies.”

“It’s all about preparation,” said Gerry Alonso, senior vp-claims at Providence, R.I.-based property insurer Factory Mutual Insurance Co., which does business as FM Global. “You want to protect buildings from potential damage, from boarding up windows to securing all equipment, and have pre-existing arrangements with contractors so your buildings are first in line to be repaired.”

Tracking danger

A key step in preparing for a natural disaster is grasping when it will strike. Quality Distribution Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based trucking company, maintains close communications with hurricane trackers. “We have three separate people here who stay in close touch with the National Hurricane Center, which also is located in Tampa,” said Mike McDonald, vp of enterprise risk management. “These people also follow storms on our computers, and they reach out to employees when (storms) threaten via a 1-800 informational hot line, so everyone—and especially our drivers—knows what’s coming.”

Business disruptions caused by a disaster are not confined to a company’s own facilities, due to the complex, global links in many manufacturers’ supply chains. One link fails and the entire chain can unravel.

“The last 18 months have shown that disasters occurring elsewhere can still affect U.S. companies direly,” said Mr. Alonso. “You need to know the laws, culture, language and customs of the countries you draw supplies from, and have back-up plans in place to mitigate the damage quickly.”

Gary Lynch, global leader of risk intelligence and supply chain strategies at insurance broker Marsh Inc. in New York, advises organizations to prepare a supply chain resiliency plan “that is transparent throughout the various links,” he said. “You need visibility into each link to understand the economic impact when something breaks. Then you can take the appropriate response.”

As recent events have shown, a single natural disaster can set in motion other catastrophes. “Four of the five costliest earthquakes occurred in the last 13 months, and the one in Japan unleashed a tsunami and other perils, creating a domino effect,” said Mr. Wolf. “Companies with operations or supply partners in affected areas are not immune to the consequences, even though these events may be thousands of miles away.”

As Mr. Kunreuther states in “At War with the Weather: Managing Large-Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes,” a recently published book he co-authored with Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, the tragedy in Japan “is viewed by experts as an almost impossible combination of successive catastrophes….The series of disasters…has spurred thinking among business leaders and policy analysts about what steps need to be taken to prevent catastrophes that could have global impacts but are currently not on key decision-makers’ radar screens.”

Planning first, then action

While planning is the first step in gauging possible loss scenarios, acting on this information is next.

“About 85% of property damage in a hurricane comes from wind-driven water, so the idea is to protect equipment from water damage by ensuring that all building openings, like windows, are hurricane wind-resistant, and having the roof inspected annually,” said Arnie Goldin, property specialist in insurer Chubb Group of Insurance Cos.’ Tampa, Fla., office. “You want to make sure the cladding—the protective shield of a building—is as puncture-proof as possible.”

Mr. Goldin further recommends developing emergency-preparedness plans that put certain employees in charge of particular responsibilities, such as shutting off utilities, covering equipment with plastic sheathing, making contact with contractors, and distributing flash drives to colleagues to capture data in case the communications and data network fails.

Labor Finders International Inc., a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based temporary staffing firm, stores all its data at a remote hot site far from company headquarters, despite operating in a building engineered to withstand a 150-mph windstorm. “We’re highly centralized here, so we also have a backup electrical system to keep us functioning if power is lost,” said Wayne Salen, director of risk management.

One last piece of advice comes from law firm Reed Smith L.L.P.: Make sure the insurance to transfer disaster risks has air-tight coverage terms, conditions and financial limits.

“In the wake of Katrina, many companies learned to their chagrin that the policy language was inferior to address the losses at hand,” said Gary Thompson, a partner in the firm’s Washington-based insurance recovery group. “The best way to ensure this doesn’t occur to you is to have a legal expert review the insurance policy. You need to think through to the end game when you’re well in front of it. “

Companies must remain vigilant.

As Mr. Alonso puts it, “The No. 1 killer of businesses is complacency. A major hurricane hasn’t hit the Northeast in more than 20 years, but that doesn’t mean one won’t strike tomorrow.”

 

Lions Clubs lead relief for victims of Japan quake, tsunami

by: The Union.com

Within 24 hours after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Northern Japan, Lions Clubs International, the largest volunteer service organization in the world, released $1.25 million to immediately assist the survivors with their most critical emergency needs.

The Lions have since raised their commitment of funds from their charitable giving arm, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, to $5 million to support the disaster relief efforts. Lions from around the world are also stepping up their fundraising with the goal of sending millions of dollars more for the victims, which also include thousands of their fellow Lions. There are more than 100,000 Lions in Japan in 3,200 clubs with 31 of those clubs based in the hardest hit area of Sendai.

Gov. Richard Wilmot, who heads the local District 4-C5 of Lions Clubs International, is joining with 14 other Lion Districts in California to reach the statewide goal of raising $100,000 for Japan. District 4-C5, which has 1,650 Lion members in 58 clubs in Nevada, Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado Counties has already raised $10,000, including more than $2,000 from five of its Leo (youth) service clubs.

For more information about Lions Clubs International’s disaster relief efforts in Japan and how you can make a donation to the Lions Clubs International Foundation, please visit http://www.lionsclubs.org or call (916) 205-4185.

Japan Crisis hits Akron: The pain of a forced transformation

By Ruth Walker | The Buchtelite

The University of Akron is currently home to three Japanese students, two of which appeared on Channel 3 News last week to discuss how recent events are affecting their families back home in Japan.

Nozomi Kiuchi spoke about her parents’ concern over radiation exposure from the compromised Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. She explained that they have already purchased masks to cover their faces as a barrier.

This echoes the concerns heard by Catherine Kenngott, History and Modern Languages senior lecturer, who has several friends currently living in Japan. Kenngott lived in Japan from 1984-1987 and has been teaching World Civilization: Japan for 23 years at The University of Akron. Friends have mentioned a mild panic caused by the fear of radiation. Kenngott explained that this fear is compounded by foreign countries pulling their people out and discouraging travel as well as ambiguous information being given to the Japanese people.

As someone who feels homesick for the life and culture in Japan, Kenngott does not marvel at the cooperation of the Japanese people in the face of such circumstances because she intrinsically knows that is just the kind of people they are. She explained that they are an admirable, homogenous nation with a group consciousness that fosters cooperation.

Kenngott spoke about how in Japanese culture, the individual divides into a private and a public self. The private self, Honne, is a person’s true feelings and desires that are shared amongst close friends and family. The public self, Tatemae, is the behavior that is displayed in public and adheres to society’s expectations of their position and circumstances. This division does not lend itself to the public outbursts of emotion that we typically see in the United States and other countries, but rather lends itself to a group focus on setting emotions aside in public and working toward a common goal – which is desperately needed with the amount of work to be done in Japan at this stage.

Gregory Moore, Ph.D., History Department senior lecturer, has been at The University of Akron for over 30 years teaching World Civilization: Japan and China. Dr. Moore believes Japan will recover quite successfully, as they have a history of transforming their society. He explained that the western world arrived in Japan in 1900 and within a century, Japan transformed from a feudal society into a modern western-style society. He went on to explain that Japan recovered from serious levels of devastation during WWII caused by raids and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The question is not whether or not Japan will recover; the question is how long recovery will take. While both Kenngott and Moore agree the government and people are more than capable of recovering, it will take extensive time and money to do so.

World Water Day 2011: Lions Providing Clean Water in Japan and Around the World

World Water Day LogoEvery year, the United Nations designates March 22 as World Water Day to highlight global safe water and sanitation issues around the world. We’re proud to join a diverse coalition of water, sanitation, hygiene and health organizations taking part in World Water Day 2011.

Today, our members in Japan are working to provide clean water to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. But, clean water is also a matter of life and death in many other communities. One of every eight people in the world lacks safe drinking water. Forty percent of people lack adequate sanitation. And more than 4,000 children in developing countries die every day because they don’t have clean water.

Lions have been working to provide clean water and sanitation for many years. Our members are making a difference in the worldwide water crisis by installing water purification systems in schools in India. Constructing more than 1.3 million latrines. And providing thousands of clean water wells through 148 LCIF water projects.

Updates from Lions in Japan

Lions have shared the following stories about the disaster in Japan and their ongoing disaster relief efforts.

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In the area where I live in Sendai City, the power finally came back on March 17, 2011, and I could start communicating with Lions leaders in the area. Lions of MD332 have created a distribution center for the evacuation locations. Please donate, it doesn’t matter how large or small in quantity. The evacuation period will be long, and we expect shortages of water, non-perishable food, blankets, disposable diapers, baby formula and sanitary items. All other daily household items are also welcome.

Lions will make sure that all items delivered to the location below reach the people in need. We are happy to accept shipments from friends outside of Japan.

Shipping address:

To: Shiga Sekizai Ten   Attn: Mr. Shigenobu Shiga
4-3-1 Kitahama, Shiogama-shi, Miyagi, ZIP 985-0003, JAPAN
Contact person: PDG Shigenobu Shiga Phone: 81-90-1931-4253

Please note, to fill out a shipping form, please use the above phone number. However, please avoid making direct phone calls to PDG Shiga in English.

The earthquake and tsunami heavily damaged the first floor of PDG Shiga’s office, but he can stay upstairs. He also offers his yard as a distribution center of our efforts, and has been leading our efforts. I want everyone know of his spirit.

I directly spoke with the Executive Administrator of Lions Clubs International the other day. The full support from Lions Clubs International and our friends all over the world encourage me a great deal. Thank you very much.

Tsugumichi Hata
Past District Governor

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In District 330-C, Saitama, Lions will provide bath service for 3,000 evacuees in Saitama Super Arena. Lions are opening four hot spring facilities to 500 people each day from March 23 to March 30. The district will pay for transportation and entrance (bathing) fees with funds collected from all clubs in the district. Thirty volunteers from some of the clubs in the district will also serve on site each day.

Most of the evacuees are from Fukushima near the nuclear plants. They only have cold shower facilities at Saitama Super Arena. The district hopes to relieve their stress by providing hot baths.

Lion Yasuhisa Nakamura
Member of Omiya Kita Lions Club

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On March 16, 2011, Kinomoto Lions Club (335-C) brought a 10-ton-truck full of emergency supplies to Fukushima (332-D). The truck included 3,500 servings of instant noodles, 2,400 2-liter bottles of beverages, 5,000 diapers, 1,650 boxes and 1,000 pocket packs of Kleenex, 1,500 disposable hand warmers, 400 cans of food, 300 servings of instant miso soup, 12,000 pairs of disposable chop sticks, as well as buckets, blankets, kerosene and more.

In response to the earthquake, Club President Hidekazu Ohashi suggested sending supplies on March 13, 2011, and the board approved the project the next day. The truck left immediately after our regular meeting on March 15, 2011, and we were able to deliver our relief supplies to 332-D District Governor Kazuo Yamaguchi early the next morning.

Within a short time, club members gathered supplies and arranged transportation. Due to the current situation, every store is limiting purchases, so it was very difficult to collect the necessary supplies. But each member made great efforts, and asked for help from others too. One of a member’s friends donated a large amount of Kleenex. And when I saw my employers going to buy some food during their lunch break, I almost cried. I am so happy that Lions inspired the community and drove them to help others.

We were able to load the truck full. I am proud to be a part of this activity. View photos.

Lion Masahito Hirai
District 335-C, Shiga

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Just today, I became able to be in direct contact with PCC Y. Takahashi of MD332. According to PCC Takahashi, PDG Maiya (08-09,332-B) who is from severely suffered Rikuzen Takada City, 25 miles north of Minami Sanriku City, is safe. Also is PDG Taneichi (09-10, 332-B Kamaishi). I have attached (D332-C,08-09) PDG Shiga’s company building photo taken by our fellow Lion who was delivering rescue goods in the area. We do not yet know if Shiga is all right or not.

A few Lion friends, connected through our closed unofficial SNS, have been moving forward. We have already provided or have arranged over 10,000 cases (six 2 liter bottles each) of mineral water and thousands of emergency food supply to D332-C (Miyagi), D332-D (Fukushima), D332-B (Iwate) and D333-E (Ibaragi).

Ryuichi Goto
Past International Director, Lions Clubs International

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As a director of the biggest private hospital in Gifu prefecture, I have been working hard to deliver relief and medical supplies. I also dispatched a Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which includes doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals from my hospital to the devastated areas in response to a request from the Japanese government. More than 20,000 people may have died and performing their autopsies is also our duty.

I do not think more earthquakes or tsunamis will occur, but we are facing a very serious situation because of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. It is said that the situation could reach the same level of danger as the Chernobyl accident. The Japanese government has asked people who live within 30 kilometers of the plant to evacuate. Some radioactive materials have been detected on some people. I think things will worsen and there will be much to do as a doctor.

Japan Lions are appealing for a donation of 500 million yen, initiated by the 8 council chairpersons from the 8 MDs and ID Furo and ID Yamaura. I should add that I am worried about the members of MD 332 who were severely affected.

I believe that Japan has the power to stand.
I also believe Japan Lions are sturdy.
Japanese people can work together in this hard time.

Jitsuhiro Yamada
Past International Director, Lions Clubs International

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On March 15, 2011, a few members of our club, Tendo Maizuru Lions Club, came up with the idea to go to Miyagi and have a soup-run. We called our members. Some members immediately agreed to join the team, and others who could not make it brought rice, water, and ingredients for stew. As soon as we finished packing, five of us headed to Miyagi on the same day. At a gas station, we explained we were going to Miyagi for disaster relief, and were able to buy gasoline.

Past Club President Suzuki, of our “sister club” Rifu Lions Club, provided a place to cook and serve more than 100 servings of Japanese traditional potato stew, along with rice balls, apples, beverages and other food that members of Tendo Maizuru Lions Club donated. Evacuees appreciated our efforts, and I was once again reminded that hands-on service is what being a Lion is all about. I am glad and proud to be a Lion. View photos.

Lion Junichi Sagae
Member of Tendo Maizuru Lions Club, 332-E, Yamagata

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Lions on LionNet Japan united to send 6,000 two-liter bottles of water and packs of energy-supplement food to Hitachi City in Ibaraki (333-E), one of the earthquake/tsunami affected areas. Two days after the catastrophe, Lion Masamitsu Kitamura, club president of Hitachi Sakura Lions Club, visited the city’s emergency relief headquarters to see what the most urgent needs are, and the Mayor advised that food and water are needed. He passed the information on to Lion Takumi Onogi (334-B, Gifu) on LionNet Japan, who relayed it to Lion Ikuo Hashimoto (335-A, Hyogo).

Lion Hashimoto immediately posted a call for help on LionNet, and more than 32 members responded with generous donations and words of encouragement. Water bottles and food were provided below cost by LionNet member Takao Kotani (331-C, Hokkaido) who owns a mineral water company. The project started with 3,000 bottles, and then added another 3,000 in response to news that villagers around the nuclear power plants are evacuating into Hitachi. The project will continue to help the countless areas that have less media coverage, and thus less attention, but have still been devastated.

Lion Masamitsu Kitamura
President of Hitachi Sakura Lions Club, 333-E

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On the day the earthquake occurred, the district had to cancel a charity event that had been planned for two years. The Lions made announcements to people around the event site (Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo) to remain calm, clear the road and sit down. The following video was shot after the first earthquake. In the video, First District Governor Kawai greets attendees. Then, when a second shake is felt, the emcees make announcements to calm the crowd. Watch video.

Two days after the earthquake, the 330-A cabinet wrapped up our regular meeting early and went to Shinjuku station with donation boxes in our hands. Soon after we started asking for donations, a young woman came to us and said, “This is for the earthquake in Miyagi, right? I haven’t been able to contact my friend. Please pass this on (onegaishimasu).”  She put 1,000 yen in the box with tears in her pleading eyes.

For two hours, we raised our voices as if we were trying to wipe out our own sad feelings. So many people, most of them young, pulled out their wallets once they realized what we were raising funds for.  When we said “thank you,” many people said “onegaishimasu” (meaning “please pass this on”), “we count on you” or simply “thank you.” Some of them were crying. One young woman who donated also joined our fundraising efforts. Watch video.

Lion Junichi Kayashima,
Member of Tokyo Edogawa Higashi Lions Club, 330-A, Tokyo

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The cabinet of 330-C, Saitama, posted an announcement about district-wide fund raising activity to general public. They also created posters, flyers and activity instructions for clubs within the district to use.

Lion Takuya Yagi
330-C, Saitama

Lions Providing Immediate Relief in Japan US$5 Million from Foundation Supporting Lions’ Efforts

In the case of disasters, Lions volunteers are often the first to respond, and continue to help for as long as it takes until all work is done. As volunteers of the world’s largest service club organization, Lions live in the affected communities, so they best know the needs of the community and are able to respond quickly and efficiently. They share a passion for rebuilding their communities.

Lions distribute food to elderly.With more 107,000 Lions in Japan, they are already mobilizing to provide immediate relief. Lions Clubs International Foundation is providig US$5 million to support Lions’ relief efforts. This includes grants as well as donations from Lions around the world.

The Foundation has established a designated fund for donations for disaster. Donations can be made in confidence, for 100 percent of every donation will go directly toward disaster relief. The Foundation has more than 40 years of experience in disaster relief, and all funds are administered by local Lions in the area.

“On behalf of all Lions of Japan, we wish to thank all of you for your support,” said Lions Clubs International Director Yasumasa Furo. Lions are appreciative of the immediate response of the Foundation and Lions’ worldwide.devastation in Hitachi

The Tohoku Region Pacific Ocean Coast Earthquake is the worst earthquake to hit Japan in over 100 years. Following the earthquake was a powerful tsunami and fires. The death toll continues to rise, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced, and many Lions have also been personally affected. March 14 members were finally able to make contact with some Lions in the hardest hit areas, but remain concerned for the health and safety of many. The electricity and communications finally returned to the area on March 17.

Already, Lions have established two relief command centers in the affected areas, as well as one in Tokyo at the Lions Office. The Kinomoto Lions Club drove a 10-ton-truck full of emergency supplies to Fukushima . The truck included 3,500 servings of instant noodles, 2,400 2-liter bottles of beverages, 5,000 diapers, 1,650 boxes and 1,000 pocket packs of Kleenex, 1,500 disposable hand warmers, 400 cans of food, 300 servings of instant miso soup, 12,000 pairs of disposable chop sticks, as well as buckets, blankets, kerosene and more.In devastated Miyagi, Lions served homemade stew to 100 elderly. These are just a few examples of the many stories of Lions’ exemplary service. Lions in Kobe are helping lead these relief efforts, utilizing their expertise in earthquake relief and recovery from the 1994 disaster. They have created a map to coordinate how Lions have been affected, as well as how they’re helping.

Staff spoke to Lions on March 15: “The damage differs from place to place. Lifelines are mostly restored, but there is a gas shortage. I can’t travel far in my car to assess the needs and damage,” said Lion Tsugumichi Hata, who lives in Sendai.”During the middle of the call, a 6.0 earthquake struck in Tokyo and was felt in Sendai. “This disaster hasn’t stopped; it’s still ongoing,” said Hata.

“I just returned from Christchurch, New Zealand, and I thought I had seen it all, but this is unbelievable. Looking to the extraordinary dimension of this earthquake and tsunami, Lions and our Foundation are committed to providing immediate and long-term relief. Lions of Japan are often the first to respond to other disasters, and I ask all Lions of the world to show their solidarity and help the Japanese Lions during their time of need,” said Eberhard J. Wirfs, Chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation.