Did you ever wonder how the Lion’s Club was started?
1917: 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 organization, with more than 1.35 million members in more
than 46,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let’s improve our communities.
1920: Going International Just three years after our founding, Lions became international when
we established the first club in Canada. 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, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.
1945: Uniting Nations The ideal of an international organization is exemplified by our enduring
relationship with the United Nations. We were one of the first nongovernmental organizations invited to assist
in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and have supported the work of the UN ever since.
1957: Organizing Youth Programs In the late 1950s, we created the Leo Program to provide
the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are
approximately 160,000 Leos and 6,400 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries and geographic areas worldwide.
1968: Establishing Our Foundation Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) assists Lions
with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Through our Foundation, Lions have received more than
$826 million in grants to help meet the needs of their local and global communities.
1990: Launching SightFirst Through LCIF, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on
a global scale with the SightFirst program. Launched in 1990, Lions have raised more than $415 million for this
initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: low vision, trachoma, river blindness, childhood
blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Today: Extending Our Reach Lions Clubs International has impacted the lives of millions all
over the world. Through our signature projects, we are able to help in the areas of sight, health, youth, the
elderly, the environment and disaster relief. We serve in more than 200 countries and geographic areas around