Support Lions Pride with Your Black Friday Shopping

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We’ve said it time and time again – 2020 is a year unlike any other. Today is a day to give thanks, but many of us are not spending the day with extended members of the family due to COVID-19 as we would have in the not-so-recent past.

Consequently, the pandemic has also changed the way we shop on Black Friday. In the past, the biggest holiday shopping of the year, started getting earlier and earlier, but this year, most sales have moved online. Yet, one more good reason to stay in tonight.

While you are busy making your list and checking it twice, you can support Lions Pride with all of your online shopping without spending any more than you anticipated. How might you ask? By using online tools like Goodshop or AmazonSmile. Learn how you can get started right away:

Goodshop

Goodshop is an online shopping portal that allows you to donate to your charity of choice with every purchase you make. Whenever you make a purchase with Goodshop, a percentage of your sale is donated to your charity of choice.

Goodshop helps you find coupons and deals with businesses all over the internet. Not only are you raising money for your favorite charity, but you are also saving money! The funds to operate Goodshop come from advertisers, so there is no cost to use.


Getting started couldn’t be easier. Just visit http://www.goodsearch.com/choosecause and search for “Lions Pride.” Next, select “Lions Pride Endowment Fund.” After your initial sign-up, you can select your favorite sites and Goodshop will alert you each time there is a new coupon or sale. Who doesn’t love simple savings?

AmazonSmile

If you prefer to get all of your shopping taken care of in one place, you are no doubt familiar with Amazon; but did you know that you can donate a percentage of your purchase price to your favorite nonprofit organization by using AmazonSmile?

Each time you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates half a percentage of your purchase price to Lions Pride. Keep in mind that you will need to start at smile.amazon.com every time you shop to support your favorite charity. When you shop, Amazon gives. Bookmark it today!

Whether you decide to use Goodshop to find the best online deals or consider yourself to be a one-stop shopper with Amazon Smile, we hope you’ll consider choosing Lions Pride as your charity of choice. You can ensure the future of Wisconsin Lions Camp and all other WLF statewide projects. Every online purchase can help us make a difference in the lives of people all around the state of Wisconsin.

As always, we appreciate your continued support. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

Games & Puzzles Week in the Virtual Age

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With Thanksgiving only one week away, we’re guessing your preparations this year probably look different than they did in the not-so-recent past. This time last year, you were likely excitedly discussing plans with beloved family members, conversing about who would bring the pumpkin pie, extra wine glasses and perhaps a board game to play after being stuffed to the brim.

This week is unofficially known as National Game and Puzzle Week, as it’s typically a time for families to gather for the holidays and share a few laughs. What better time to break out a classic family board game or quietly work on a puzzle together throughout the day?

Of course, the CDC has already set out specific guidelines for celebrating the holiday season. Sadly, as the conditions of the pandemic continue to worsen, families are being asked to reconsider their plans to slow the spread of the virus. Experts are recommending that families only gather with members of their household to reduce the spread of the virus.  

Many people are understandably disappointed that they will likely not be able to follow their usual family traditions to celebrate the holiday, but it’s important to remember that technology can help keep families connected. To help families get into the holiday spirit, we’ve put together a few games that can be easily played virtually:   

  1. Pictionary – with Zoom’s whiteboard feature, you can all have a blast sporting your artistic abilities. Simply divide your group into teams and open a Pictionary Word Generator to let the fun begin.  
  2. 20 Questions – you may think you already know your family members well, but we’d be willing to bet that you’ll learn at least a few new pieces of information after asking them 20 creative questions. Check out these 200 conversation-starting questions for inspiration
  3. Bingo – did someone say Bingo? Yes! Visit the website, My Free Bingo Cards, to play a virtual version of everyone’s favorite game. Consider adding small prizes such as gift cards or fun trinkets to enhance your family’s sense of competition.
  4. Trivia – show off your knowledge of random facts with a classic game of trivia. Assign a host a random trivia generator to get the brains working after a huge turkey dinner. The winner gets bragging rights!

We know everyone is experiencing COVID fatigue, but the promising news about the recent vaccine milestone should provide us all with hope that an end is in sight. We just need to all hang on a little while longer to overcome this tremendous obstacle.

Have a safe, healthy Thanksgiving from Lions Pride.

12 Ways to Spread Kindness

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What a week it’s been! We’re still awaiting recounts of the 2020 Presidential Election, COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the state as well as the country and it seems like our cold, winter weather has finally arrived. In times like this, it can be difficult to remain optimistic, but there is one anecdote that can always bring a smile – kindness.

As you might recall, this week is National Kindness Week, which gives us all an opportunity to spread kindness wherever we might go. Though we understand that these places may be limited given the current environment, we’d like to help encourage you to partake in random acts of kindness as we round up the week. Here are 12 ideas, courtesy of randomactsofkindness.com.

  1. Write a handwritten letter
  2. Pay a compliment to a friend or co-worker
  3. Buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  4. Wheel out in your neighbor’s garbage can
  5. Choose to eat locally
  6. Reach out to a family member you haven’t heard from in a while
  7. Give away an inspirational book
  8. Be a courteous driver
  9. Start a fundraiser for a cause you care about
  10. Leave a positive review for a local business online
  11. Ship a care package to a loved one
  12. Smile when passing a stranger (yes, even behind a mask)

These are only a handful of countless ideas for you to spread kindness to everyone you encounter. We understand that times are challenging, but actively working to promote kindness can help us all get through them together.

Happy National Kindness Week from Lions Pride!

United in Kindness

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As we write this post on Wednesday evening, we are still awaiting the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. No matter where you stand politically, you are likely feeling several emotions. But rather than dwelling on this uncertainty, we thought it would make sense to preoccupy our minds for a moment or two with another ever-important topic: kindness.

Monday, November 9, marks the beginning of World Kindness Week, which preludes World Kindness Day happening on Friday, November 13. This special celebration was first started by the World Kindness Movement back in 1998.

There’s no question that we are currently experiencing division around our country, which is why we believe this celebratory week couldn’t have arrived sooner.

As Americans, we all have the right to our opinions, but sometimes this freedom can overshadow the golden virtue. The whole idea of World Kindness Week reminds us of the influential message given by Lions International President Dr. Jung-Yul Chol back in July.

He reminded us that kindness is at the very heart of service. Lions International is one of the most diverse and inclusive organizations on the planet. Our organization is made up by over 1.4 million members worldwide and includes 48,000+ clubs. We are proud to serve all people, in all places – and our great diversity allows us to provide exceptional service. Together, as Lions, we are united in kindness and diversity,

After reviewing his message, it did not take us long to realize that Lions International has a lot in common with the United States, namely our diversity. We are fortunate to be made of people of different races, religions, cultures, social backgrounds and more. All of these aspects created the foundation that helped our founding fathers claim independence.

So, as we continue to hold our breaths anxiously waiting for the week to conclude, we’d encourage you to spread International President Choi’s message. Your recipients may include friends, family members, neighbors and other people in your community, regardless of whether they echo your political beliefs.

Above all, kindness matters, especially during trying times. From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish you both patience and serenity for the remainder of the week. Please remember, this, too, shall pass.

Halloween in Quarantine

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This weekend marks the spookiest day of the year, Halloween. While parents and children were originally excited to see this holiday land on a Saturday, there’s no denying that many will likely celebrate differently than they imagined.

Halloween is usually filled with fun activities for both the young as well as the young at heart. Children anticipate filling up a bag of Halloween candy while adults take the day to play dress up and gather with friends. Sadly, though, the COVID-19 pandemic has more than likely sent those plans packing.

Over the course of the last few weeks, our state has seen its highest increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic was announced. That means it’s more important than ever to practice caution when celebrating the holiday.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC recommends staying away from high-risk activities associated with Halloween, including participating in trick-or-treating or visiting a costume party. We understand that it’s disappointing having to miss out on yet another 2020 holiday, but there are a few safe alternatives for you to consider:

  • Decorate or carve pumpkins with immediate members of your family. Be sure to revisit the story of the Jack-O-Lantern!
  • Decorate or carve pumpkins outside with neighbors or friends. Saturday’s temperatures will be in the low 50s, which means you won’t need to bundle up to enjoy the company of friends from a safe distance.
  • Host a virtual Halloween costume party. More than likely, you’ve become familiar with Zoom or another online meeting platform. Use this technology to celebrate a costumed happy hour.
  • Have a movie night with the people in your household. Settle in with a bowl of popcorn and re-watch some of the old classics.

Although the CDC is discouraging trick-or-treating, many Wisconsin municipalities are still hosting designated trick-or-treating hours on Halloween. Be sure to keep your porch lights off if you chose not to pass out candy.

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a trying year for us all, but unfortunately, we’re not through the pandemic just yet. Be sure to continue following the CDC guidelines to help slow the spread. Remember, we’re all in this fight together.

From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish you a safe, enjoyable Halloween.

The Celebration of United Nations Day

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Earlier this month, we celebrated Mental Health Day and World Food Day. What do these holidays have in common? Besides both falling under categories playing a significant role in personal health, they are also international days currently observed by the United Nations. We’re keeping the trend moving by celebrating one more international day in October, United Nations Day.

After World War II had ended, the world wanted peace. United Nations Day or UN Day marks the anniversary of its presence in the world on October 24. In June 1945, 50 countries met in San Francisco to create the UN Charter. The document was ratified by a majority of signatories, including the five members of the Security Council (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.) Nearly four months later, the United Nations officially came into existence. Read more about the history.

Today, the United Nations is made up of 193 Member States. The goals of the UN are simple; however, that does not mean they are easily achievable:

  • To maintain international peace and security
  • To protect human rights
  • To deliver humanitarian aid
  • To promote sustainable development
  • To uphold international law

There’s no question that the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations comes during a time that many of us have never experienced first hand. The entire world has seen great disruption due to the global pandemic, including serious economic and social impacts. However, the United Nations believes that challenging times can also become an opportunity for positive change and transformation when we all work together.

In a typical year, the UN would celebrate its anniversary with a concert held at the General Assembly Hall. Of course, due to the pandemic, the concert will be prerecorded and screened today, October 22, at 12 pm EST/11 am CST. The theme of this year’s concert is called “Reimagine, Rebalance, Restart: recovering together for our shared humanity.” The concert will also be screened live on the UN YouTube Channel as well as its other social media platforms.

The United Nations believes that art and culture have an unbelievable ability to bring people together through connection and common understanding. Today’s performance will leverage the power of both “music and dance to capture the world’s collective commitment to cooperation, multilateralism and global solidarity.”

If you plan to attend the concert, be sure to stop back and let us know your thoughts about the event.

Happy United Nations Day from Lions Pride!

The Pandemic’s Effect on Hunger & World Food Day 2020

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As residents of planet Earth, we all have certain necessities that we need to satisfy to survive. We bet it wouldn’t take long for you to list these items. We all need shelter, water, air and, of course, food. Unfortunately, just because these needs are necessary doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed for us all.

According to 2016 data from LCI, over 815 million people around the world are impacted by hunger. Sadly, as the world continues to face the negative impacts of the pandemic, this number has likely increased. And, unless we take immediate action now, we all risk a worldwide food emergency that could have lingering effects on hundreds of millions of our global neighbors.

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a step back with some terminology, starting by defining hunger. When people face food insecurity, they are not able to meet their food requirements or consume enough calories for a normal, active life. This long-term struggle unquestionably leads to ongoing, future implications for these individuals. Learn more about the challenge COVID-19 presents for both food and agriculture.

The evidence has become clear, although there is enough food on our planet for everyone, too many of our neighbors are battling hunger. That’s why the timing of the next UN international holiday couldn’t be more fitting – World Food Day.

Each year on October 16, the United Nations celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Like all major events in 2020, the 75th anniversary will be different than events in years past.   

On Friday, FAO Special Ambassadors, heads of the Rome-based UN agencies and other keynote speakers will meet virtually to ensure everyone is able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and access to healthy and nutritious food. You can join in by watching the webcast.

Naturally, we are always looking for new ways to make the world a better place. Although we may not be a direct line in the global food chain operation, there are still ways to make a positive impact. Remember that consumers also play an important role. How will you choose to make a difference?

Happy World Food Day from Lions Pride!

World Mental Health Day

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How are you feeling these days? If you’re like many of us, the continuing pandemic may be invoking lots of unfamiliar emotions. Due to the social distancing guidelines, you may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, sadness, despair, or even depression. It’s critical to remember that as global citizens, we are all going through an unprecedented period of time, so, of course, it is taking its toll on overall mental health.

This Sunday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day, a day to bring increased awareness and investment to the importance of mental health. You may be interested in learning that, according to the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, mental health is considered one of the most overlooked areas of public health.

It is estimated that nearly 3 billion people are living with a mental disorder, and now as we mentioned, the mental health of billions more have been negatively affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, the topic itself remains highly stigmatized and quality mental health services are only available to relatively few people You may be surprised to learn that only an average of 2 percent of a country’s health budget is dedicated to mental health. Through studies constantly show a positive return in the form of both improved health and productivity. Read more in this recent news release.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we thought it would be important to clarify the term. Mental health encompasses a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. It has a significant impact on how you think, act and feel as you work through life.

Don’t underestimate the importance of mental health as it plays a pivotal role in our capability to deal with the normal stressors of life, stay physically healthy, maintain meaningful relationships and more.

There are several activities that can help improve your mental health, such as:

  • Staying physically active
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Maintaining a positive outlook
  • Learning how to meditate
  • Perfecting relaxation techniques

Though, we must acknowledge that these activities are simply no substitute for professional help. If you currently dealing with mental health issues, you may be interested in reviewing the resources available from the World Health Organization and have a conversation with your primary doctor.

In 2020, let’s all work together to break down the stigma associated with mental health.

Happy World Mental Health Day from Lions Pride!

Fun Facts to Celebrate National Taco Day

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Hola amigos! Have you been struggling to come up with what to plan for dinner each night? Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant and hospitality industry has suffered a downturn in activity, which has, sadly, brought a whole slew of issues to its workforce. Additionally, it poses extra challenges at home, including asking repeatedly asking your housemates, “What should we make for dinner?”

If you’ve also been challenged with coming up with a new meal each night, let us suggest a favorite entrée to add to the menu – tacos. Sunday, October 4, is National Taco Day, and we think it’s worth celebrating an easy supper win. We’ve compiled a list of fun facts to share with your family about the popular Tex-Mex dish:

  • Experts in the field believe that the invention of the taco was first created between 1,000 and 500 BC. Though, the early days, the taco anywhere near in the form we know and love today. Instead, it was believed to have been used as an edible spoon to rake in other food.
  • Thanks to the Chili Queens of San Antonio, tacos first came to the United States in 1905.
  • The world’s most expensive taco would set you back a whopping $25,000. The deluxe taco was made with Kobe beef, beluga caviar and served on a gold flaked taco.
  • Taco John’s was the first to trademark “Taco Tuesday” in 1989. Thirty-one years later, the company still has some claim to the phrase.
  • Part of the beloved nature of tacos is due to their great versatility and variety. A taco can be made with several different fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood and more
  • In 2018, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos, equating to 775 million pounds.

What is your favorite type of taco? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

This weekend is the perfect time to enjoy everyone’s favorite Mexican dish. Happy National Taco Day from Lions Pride!

2020 Fall Foliage Report

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The local meteorologist may be tricking us into thinking summer is back again, but there’s no question that fall has officially arrived. Parents and children are starting to find their back-to-school routines, assorted pumpkins are being placed on front porches, seasonal flavors have returned to coffee shops and, of course, the greatest indicator of them are the changing fall colors.

If you would consider yourself an autumn enthusiast, you’re likely visited Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report. If not, there’s no better time to become familiar with an outstanding state resource.

Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism provides the latest updates for finding the best fall colors. Regardless of your mode of transportation (hiking, biking or riding), you have the opportunity to see all of the changing leaves that your heart desires.

According to the latest report, counties around the state appear to be evenly split between beginning and moderate peak colors. Expectations show that northern counties will reach their peak in the first or second week of October, while southern counties will follow in the second or third week of the month. If you’ve been longing for a road trip, now is the time to start planning – with as much or as little effort as you’d like!

Travel Wisconsin put together a guide for 11 scenic drives to take advantage of when the leaves are turning. We were excited to see that one drive is not far from the Wisconsin Lions Camp. Did you know that three of the state’s highest points are right here in Central Wisconsin? Take in the fall foliage from a different perspective by driving along the Hilltop Tour.

If you don’t consider yourself to be a follower, you can always come up with a fall foliage trip of your own. Our state is chock-full of scenic highways and rustic roads, so we are confident that finding a unique journey shouldn’t be a trying task.

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Wisconsin. Don’t forget to open your eyes and take all of the beauty in. From all of us here at Lions Pride, enjoy your seasonably warm fall weekend!