Lions Clubs have a tradition of raising awareness of diabetes, and working with those affected by the disease. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is a growing world epidemic that will affect over 642 million people by 2040. It is a leading cause of blindness in many countries. It can also lead to heart attack, stroke, organ failure, nerve damage, and limb amputations. Because of these statistics, Lions Clubs have established Diabetes Programs. The goal is to promote diabetes awareness, education, prevention, detection, control, and research.
One way that Lions Clubs promote diabetes awareness is by hosting a Strides Walk. This is a family event where community members gather to walk. The walk enforces the importance of exercise to those living with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes. Other Strides events could include activities such as running, cycling, and dancing. Strides Walks are local events sponsored by local Lions Clubs.
DIABETES CAMPS FOR KIDS
Another Lions Club Program focused on diabetes is Diabetes Camp for Kids. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in childhood or young adulthood. Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured, and must be treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes generally affects adults (but becoming more prevalent in children) and can be treated by a healthy diet and weight, as well as exercise. Diabetes Camps offer children with type 1 diabetes a chance to attend a summer camp that they may not otherwise be able to safely attend.
DIABETES PUBLICATIONS AND INFORMATION
The Lions Club has also produced educational material about diabetes. The following resources are available on the Lions Club International Diabetes Resource Page:
- Diabetes Program Brochure (iad472)
- It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes [English only] (iad312)
- Taking Care of Your Diabetes Means Taking Care of Your Heart [English only] (iad325)
- Tips for Teens: Be Active [English only] (iad309)
- Tips for Teens: What is Diabetes [English only] (iad313)
- Tips for Teens: Stay at a Healthy Weight [English only] (iad310)
- Tips for Teens: Dealing With the Ups & Downs of Diabetes [English only] (iad308)
- Print Service Announcement: Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent Diabetes [English only] (iad328)
OTHER SERVICE PROJECT IDEAS
Since each Lions Club is tasked with serving its community, there are many service projects and ideas for local Clubs. There are many opportunities for people to volunteer with the Shawnee Lions Club. The Lions Cub International has published a list of 25 ideas for local clubs.
- Organize a “Strides: Lions for Diabetes Awareness” event in your community.
- Organize a community support group for parents of children with diabetes.
- Volunteer to serve at a children’s camp for diabetes.
- Invite a healthcare professional to speak about diabetes at your club or district meeting.
- Support your nearest diabetes foundation.
- Partner with local healthcare providers to organize diabetes and vision screenings.
- Distribute current educational resources to increase diabetes awareness at a community health fair or other event.
- Organize a walking club for seniors with diabetes.
- Provide a diabetes magazine subscription to your local library.
- Sponsor a child in need to attend a diabetes camp.
- Donate current diabetes books to your local library and insert a bookplate to identify your club’s donation.
- Participate in World Diabetes Day events on November 14.
- Work with your local school to invite a health care professional to speak about diabetes.
- Post monthly articles about diabetes on your club or district website.
- Promote diabetes prevention through a radio pubic service announcement
- Sponsor a healthy cooking demonstration for people with diabetes.
- Organize a school or community vegetable garden to encourage healthy eating
- Work with a community podiatrist or foot care specialist to provide foot screenings.
- Work with health care professionals to provide “at-risk” populations in your community with screenings and educational materials.
- Partner with your local diabetes organization to offer programs and materials.
- Promote community resources and materials available online from LCI partner organizations
(NDEP, DECA and IDF).
- Hold a fundraiser for a local diabetes camp or foundation.
- Provide financial assistance to people in need to help them obtain medicine and supplies for the management of their diabetes.
- Promote the importance of an annual dilated eye exam to detect diabetic eye disease.
- Provide translated diabetes educational materials to schools, libraries and physician offices.
THE SHAWNEE LIONS CLUB NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
If you want to know what the Lions Club does, diabetes awareness is a good start. But there’s much more. Lions Clubs around the world have a Global Service Framework that focuses on 5 key areas: Diabetes, The Environment, Hunger Relief, Pediatric Cancer, and Vision.
The Shawnee Lions Club needs to grow in order to fulfill the obligations from these service areas. If you live in the Shawnee area and want to volunteer in the community, we have many opportunities for you! Please contact us and let us know you are interested in becoming a Lion and making a difference!