How to Support Your Favorite Organization with Holiday Shopping

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The holiday shopping season is here. If you’re like us, you’ve already seen the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from several major retailers. We know, we know, it seems like the shopping window increases each year, but you can take advantage of its early arrival with extra preparation time, sizable savings and an opportunity to support your favorite nonprofit organization – without spending anything more. Learn how to become an even smarter shopper with these free online tools:45749783_1042895462557318_4769862938020282368_o.png

AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon website that you know and love but allows you to an easy and automatic way to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

To get started you need to visit smile.amazon.com and select “Lions Pride Endowment Fund,” then start shopping. Every time you make a purchase, Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% back to Lions Pride. Consider creating a bookmark or installing the Amazon Assistant to get in the habit.

GoodSearch and GoodShop

GoodSearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo that supports nonprofit organizations in every search. Every time you choose to use GoodSearch when browsing the internet, the search engine will donate one penny to your favorite organization. One penny may not sound like a lot but imagine this: If 1000 Lions Pride supporters were to use GoodSearch twice a day for a year, they could raise a total of $7300. Wow!

Similar to AmazonSmile, GoodShop is an online shopping portal that allows you to donate to your charity of choice with every purchase you make. The site helps you find online coupons and deals with businesses all over the web. Not only are you raising money for your favorite charity, but you are also saving money. Most importantly, the operating costs to manage the site come from advertisers, so there is no fee to sign up.

Getting started with GoodShop is simple. Just visit http://www.goodsearch.com/choosecause and search for “Lions Pride.” Next, select “Lions Pride Endowment Fund.” Then, you can choose your favorite stores, and Goodshop will alert you each time there is a new coupon or sale. Who doesn’t love easy shopping?

It may be hard to believe, but the holidays will be here within the blink of an eye. If you prefer to do your shopping online, consider using one of these free tools to save money and contribute to Lions Pride when you check items off your list. With your continued support, we can work together to preserve, protect and provide for the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects.

Happy shopping!

 

 

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Diabetes Awareness Month

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We have arrived at the eleventh month of the year. If we were to ask you, “What is the Strides Lions for Diabetes Awarenessfirst topic that comes to mind when you think about November?”; what would you say? More than likely, your response would include something related to Thanksgiving, football or fall, but there is one other topic that should come to mind – diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and we think it’s time to spread the word about the growing epidemic.

Diabetes is a long-lasting disease that impacts how your body turns food into energy. According to the CDC, approximately 30.3 million American adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 don’t even know that they have the disease. People with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes are at higher risk for other serious health complications including blindness, kidney problems, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, nerve damage and more. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for diabetes at this time, but it is treatable with healthy lifestyle changes.

Lions Club International adopted diabetes awareness at a long-term commitment back in 1984. The primary object was to reduce the number of new cases of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. Wisconsin Lions are always on a mission to actively support LCI’s efforts, but November is an excellent opportunity to reach an even larger audience. If you and your club are looking to make a difference in the world of diabetes awareness, here are a few project ideas, courtesy of Lions Club International:

  • Conduct a local diabetes screening – Partner with healthcare professionals to carry out the event. Organizations such as government health departments, universities, hospitals and private physicians will often agree to perform free of low-cost public screenings. Learn more about getting started.
  • Organize a Strides event in your community – A Strides event is a highly visible, family-oriented activity that combines fun with exercise. Events can include walking, dancing, cycling or running. Find out more about organizing one today.
  • Start planning a school or community garden – Spring may not be top of mind this time of year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about next season gardening. Having fruits and vegetables readily available is always a great way to encourage others to make healthy meal choices.
  • Provide your local library with an annual diabetes magazine subscription – You can find industry publications with subscriptions as low as $10 a year. Talk about an affordable way to reach all curious library visitors!
  • Create a support group for those affected with diabetes – A support group will give you a chance to educate and inform others while creating a safe space for families suffering.

World Diabetes Day is Friday, November 15. There’s never been a better time to start planning a project to increase diabetes awareness. Already working on a large service project, or don’t think there’s enough time to get one started this month? You and your club can still help spread the word. When you support Lions Pride, you can designate your gift specifically for the WLF’s Diabetes Project – ensuring funding in perpetuity. Diabetes is no match to the power of Lions. Together, we can all work to inform and educate others to help prevent and control diabetes.

 

Get Ready to Vote on November 6

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If you have a TV, are active on social media or are particularly observant on your daily Voting Buttonscommute, you know that an election is upon us. You’re right! The congregational midterm election is taking place on Tuesday, November 6. Will you vote?

This election will determine who represents the state in Congress, the branch of government that creates laws. The following positions will be seen on the ballot:

  • All 435 seats in the US House of Representatives
  • One-third of all US senators
  • Thirty-six governors and three US territory governors

In the state of Wisconsin, we are also voting for:

  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • County Sheriff
  • Clerk of Circuit Court
  • Other local representatives, in addition to local referenda

Click to preview your ballot here.

Voting fluctuates dramatically when comparing presidential and midterm elections. According to Fairvote.org, about 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot during presidential elections, but only 40 percent participate in midterm elections.

It’s important for us all to remember that a robust voter turnout is imperative to a healthy democracy. If you are on the fence about participating in the midterm elections, we encourage you to spend the next few days researching candidates and make a plan to vote. Here are a few other items that you will be helpful to know before election day:

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “this is the important election in history” before each election, but it’s always true. This Tuesday, be sure to fulfill your civic duty. Get out and vote!

Happy Voting from Lions Pride.

Fun Facts About Cats

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Did you know that estimates show approximately Red kittenfour million cats are entering animal shelters each year with one to two million being euthanized? The folks behind National Cat Day are on a mission to lower that number by helping more cats find forever homes on October 29.

In the shelters, cats are often overlooked when compared to dogs because they don’t carry titles like walking companion, travel buddy or guardian. But cats have several other redeeming qualities. They help lower blood pressure, decrease stress levels and provide unconditional love. Learn about all of the benefits of owning a cat.

In honor of the upcoming holiday, we thought we’d celebrate with some fun facts that you might not already know about our favorite feline friends:

  • Cats make about 100 different sounds while dogs only make about ten.
  • Cats sleep a lot! In an average day, a cat spends about two-thirds of it sleeping.
  • Similar to a human fingerprint, each cat’s nose print is unique.
  • A total of 32 muscles control a cat’s outer ear. (Humans only have six!)
  • A cat can jump up to five times its height in one leap.
  • Cats only meow at humans. They will typically hiss, purr and spit at other cats.
  • A cat uses its whiskers to judge the size of spaces.
  • Scientists don’t know exactly how cats purr.
  • A cat’s jaw cannot move sideways, so they are unable to chew large chunks of food.
  • House cats share approximately 96 percent of DNA with tigers.
  • Abraham Lincoln was an extreme cat lover. He shared the white house with his wife and four cats. When asked about his hobbies, Mary Todd replied, “cats.”
  • A group of cats is called a “clowder.”

We are all encouraged to spoil our fur babies in honor of National Cat Day. Think about purchasing a new toy, giving them an extra tasty treat and providing additional pets and cuddling. Of course, the best way to celebrate is to save a life. If you have the ability, adopt from your local animal shelter. Let’s work together to decrease the number of homeless animals currently housed in local shelters.

Happy National Cat Day from Lions Pride!

Ways to Celebrate Sweetest Day

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ThereHappy Sweetest Day.png are plenty of holidays to observe in October. Bosses’ Day falls on October 16, Make a Difference Day is celebrated on October 27 and, of course, Halloween shows up each year on October 31, but there is one more holiday that we want to make sure you add to your calendar – Sweetest Day on Saturday, October 20.

We know what you’re thinking, “Great, another card-giving holiday,” however, there is truly charming reason behind this occasion.

According to Hallmark, Sweetest Day was developed by a candy store employee who lived in Cleveland, Ohio by the name of Herbert Birch Kingston. In 1922, he decided to bring happiness to those who were feeling forgotten. Together with a team, Kingston brought candy and small gifts to orphans, shut-ins and others to show their care.

By the early 1930s, celebrities started getting involved in the event. Ann Pennington handed out candy to over 2200 newspaper carriers, and Theda Bara passed out candy to theater attendees and hospital patients. The original holiday expanded to include loved ones, coworkers, acquaintances and friends. Today, Sweetest Day is still most prevalent in the Great Lakes region due to its origination.

So, how should you observe this weekend’s holiday? You could send a card or surprise someone with a box of their favorite candy, but here are a few more thoughtful approaches:

  1. Bake a batch of cookies

Who doesn’t love the taste of homemade cookies? There’s nothing like the taste of a chocolate chip cookie to brighten up even the darkest day, but it turns out that baking for others can also have a positive effect on the baker. Baking, especially when done for others, can have a whole slew of psychological benefits. If you’re in a baking mood, thinking about spreading the love by preparing a plate of cookies with someone who might need a pick-me-up. (Additionally, baking is always an incredible way to warm up the house!)

  1. Write a heartfelt letter

With the increase in technology, it seems that we have lost of the art of letter writing. Show a loved one that you’ve been thinking about them with a short, heartfelt letter. You can always send an email if you’re looking to save a stamp or send your message faster, but we can bet that a handwritten note will put a smile on your recipients’ face.

  1. Send flowers

Did you know that in addition to creating a beautiful focal point, flowers have several health benefits? Flowers can promote feelings of happiness and in people all ages. They are also believed to help balance emotions and prevent mood swings. If you know someone who is in need of an instant mood boost, flowers may be the perfect gift.

  1. Donate in his or her honor

Nonprofit organizations thrive with the gifts of their loyal supporters. Funds are the lifeblood of any nonprofit as it helps them spread their message and make a difference in their communities. When celebrating Sweetest Day, consider donating to your recipient’s favorite organization in their name. When you make an honorarium/memorial donation to Lions Pride, we’ll gladly mail an acknowledgment card to your loved one or their family to let them know about the lasting legacy that you are creating for future generations at the Wisconsin Lions Camp and in other WLF projects.

Sweetest Day may have originated with candy and sweets in mind, but we believe that the message has evolved as a day to do small things for others with great love. How do you plan to celebrate the occasion?

Happy Sweetest Day fromLions Pride!

 

 

 

 

 

National Estate Planning Week

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Did you know that next week is National Estate Planning Week? We may not exchange Estate-Plangifts, share a large family meal or decorate lamp posts, but here at Lions Pride, we think it’s still an important holiday worth celebrating. Let us tell you why!

You may be surprised to learn that estate planning is one of the most overlooked elements of personal financial wellness. An estimated 56 percent of Americans don’t have an updated estate plan. It’s not uncommon to hear these phrases associated with the practice:

“I’m too young for an estate plan.”

“Estate planning is only important for the ultra-rich.”

“My spouse and I created our wills when we first married (35 years ago,) so there’s no need for further planning.”

“Won’t my property just go to my spouse?”

“Estate planning is too complicated and expensive.”

The truth of the matter is estate planning is for everyone because it protects you, your family and your assets.

There are several advantages to estate planning, including:

  • Saving you (and your loved ones) money in the future.
  • Passing on your assets the way you want.
  • Having the opportunity to support a cause or organization that you care about, even after your passing.
  • Providing financial direction, if you are physically or mentally unable.
  • Bestowing peace of mind to you and your family.

See more estate planning benefits from The Balance.

We understand that the idea of estate planning can be scary. Similar to life insurance, estate planning will seemingly bring up the shadow of the death. It may be difficult to hear, but postponing estate planning will not postpone death. One of the most significant reasons for an estate plan is to prepare for the unexpected.

Next week, National Estate Planning Week is the ideal time to plan for the future and ensure that your affairs are in order. If you do not currently have an estate planner, you can find an Accredited Estate Planner Designee by following this link. If you already have a plan in place, it may be an excellent time to review and make necessary adjustments. That might include naming Lions Pride or your favorite charity in your plans, living a lasting legacy.

Happy National Estate Planning Week!

World Sight Day 2018

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Take a look outside. You’ve probably already noticed the once-green trees have now turned beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. Aren’t we fortunate to have the ability to observe the gorgeous colors of fall? For those of us who have clear vision or glasses, it’s not uncommon for us to take our sight for granted, but it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same opportunities.

You may be surprised to learn that approximately 1.2 billion people don’t have access to glasses – that amounts to over 3 out of 4 people around the globe. You can help increase the world’s awareness of eye care issues by helping us celebrate World Sight Day on Tuesday, October 11.

2018 is the sixth year of the World Health Organization Action Plan and this year’s call to action is “Eye Care Everywhere.” The International Agency for Prevent Blindness is encouraging all of us to focus on eye care issues, so that everyone, everywhere has access to good eye health.

How can you help? One way is by utilizing one of our most prized resources, the Eyeglass Recycling Center. The Wisconsin Lions Foundation’s Eyeglass Recycling Center (ERC) is one of only 18 worldwide facilities that collects used glasses to share with the world and is located right here on the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Headquarters.

At any given time, the ERC inventory is about 125,000 pairs of glasses. These glasses are then provided without costs to sponsors of Vision Mission Projects to developing countries. Some mission groups are Lions, but there are several others, often including vision professionals.

To commemorate World Vision Day, consider organizing an eyeglass collection drive or simply promote your area collection box. Of course, there are many other ways to help, including conducting eye and vision screenings within your local community, working with eye care professionals to create an eye health presentation or holding an educational event promote diabetes awareness and related vision loss.

No matter how you choose to serve, know that you are making a big difference to the sight of your community and to others who live all over the world. Let’s work together to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to sight.

World Vision Day information provided by your friends at Lions Pride!

 

How to Celebrate National Good Neighbor Day

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“When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.” -Jennifer PahlkaNeighborhood Homes

There’s no denying that it is a blessing to have a friendly neighborhood. Good neighbors always have a smile to share, are willing to lend a helping hand and ready to keep a watchful eye. But did you know that each year Americans know less and less about their neighbors? If you’ve been looking for a reason to get to know the people who live next door, you’re in luck! This Friday, September 28, is National Good Neighbor Day and we think there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate and build our communities.

National Good Neighbor Day was first created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson, a community businesswoman in Lakeside, Montana. She realized the true importance of knowing your neighbor, so she and her husband along with Congressman Mike Mansfield worked with Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter to sign the proclamations for Good Neighbor Day. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued the following,

As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others.

Understanding, love, and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation, and the nations of the world.

For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family.

If you’ve been wanting to get to know your neighbors, but have been unsure of the best ways to reach out, we have compiled a few ways to start the process:

  • Host an outdoor barbecue

    There’s no better way to get to know someone than over a smoky grill. Encourage neighbors to bring their own meat to fire up and a dish to pass, that way no one has to spend a lot of time preparing. Sometimes, spontaneity is the perfect way to break the ice.

  • Bring over a plate of homemade treats

    Who doesn’t love the taste of fresh, baked cookies? If you’d like to introduce yourself, consider making a couple of batches of cookies (one for your family and one for your neighbor to share.) If that seems too well planned and are looking for something more natural, look to your garden. The Wisconsin harvest is plentiful in early fall, so if your garden is gifting with you with a bountiful harvest, share the wealth!

  • Lend a helping hand

    One way to instantly build a connection is to lend a helping hand. If you see your neighbor, raking the first round of fallen leaves, go grab a rake and help make the job a little easier on him or her. Who knows they might return the favor down the road.

  • Smile

We know that it’s not always easy to put yourself out there, but a nice way to start building a relationship is with a smile and a wave.

Treat Good Neighbor Day as a great opportunity to say hello and start getting to know your neighbors. How will you celebrate the unofficial holiday? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Good Neighbor Day from Lions Pride!

 

The 2018 USA/Canada Leadership Forum

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Forum week is officially here! Each year, Lions Club Members from all over North America come together for three days of fellowship to train, connect and get inspired. Later on today and into tomorrow, Wisconsin Lions and Lionesses will be in their company as they head down to the Buggy Capital of the World, Columbus, to attend the 2018 USA/Canada Leadership Forum.

For the next 72 hours, Lions will take part is over 80 seminars to touch on topics such as:

  • promoting service through social media
  • adding diabetes to the LCI Service Framework
  • overcoming the fear of public speaking
  • the power of storytelling
  • the ins and outs of chairing projects

See the entire seminar schedule here. The biggest challenge will be deciding which seminars to attend. Consider splitting the duties with other club members and regrouping later.

In addition to education-rich seminars, other special events will be taking place over the weekend. Lions will also have the opportunity to participate in the Strides Walk, observe a Lions University graduation and hear from incredible keynote speakers. We’re especially excited to hear from John Pinero who will be playing the role of legendary coach, Vince Lombardi. He will aim to inspire us as Lombardi inspired the Green Bay Packers. (Don’t be afraid to flaunt your hometown team spirit with green and gold apparel!)

Finally, Lions will have to make sure they take some time to explore Columbus. As the largest city in Ohio, Columbus is not without plenty of entertainment and restaurant options. A few of the most popular attractions include the Pearl Market, the Brewery District and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

There’s a reason why Lions look forward to forum weekend, year after year. The event has something for everyone – education, networking, site seeing and more.

From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish all leadership forum attendees safe travels as they make their way south. We can’t wait to hear about your experience when you get home!