Through the devotion of Lions Club members, the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research was founded as an eye bank dedicated to the evaluation and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation. Over the past 30-plus years, our commitment has remained the same — an unwavering dedication to clinical excellence and a passion for providing care and service delivered with compassion and respect.
Since then, we have created a model unlike anything ever realized before; we are the first and only combined eye bank and ocular research center in the world — empowering researchers to conduct real-time studies of healthy and diseased ocular tissue leading to a greater understanding of the events that lead to blindness.
As a nonprofit, we are grounded in the belief that everyone deserves the gift of sight, and the Foundation was established for that purpose. We humbly donate over $1 million of our services annually and give thousands of dollars to help improve vision internationally. We work to educate and inspire communities about ocular research as well as host and fund special events to help people understand that blindness is something everyone faces. Our dream will be realized when everyone — those affected by eye disease, as well as those with healthy eyes — fully appreciates and values the gift of sight.
Founded in 1917, The International Association of Lions Clubs is the largest non-governmental agency associated with the United Nations, with more than 1.4 million Lions Club members worldwide, representing 43,300 clubs in 714 districts covering 182 countries.
There are approximately 45 million cases of curable and preventable blindness existing worldwide, a number that will double by the end of the decade. Lions Clubs were called upon by the United Nations and the World Health Organization to raise funds for an international program of sight conservation.
The major focus of Lions activities continues to be sight related. Individual Clubs sponsor free eye-screening programs using mobile eye clinics, and, in many countries, Clubs sponsor eye surgery camps where cataract surgeries are performed at no charge for those who can’t afford such medical care. Many Clubs collect old eyeglasses, which are reconditioned and distributed to people worldwide.
To improve visual outcomes and quality of life for those who are blind or visually impaired through innovative ocular endeavors.
On June 30, 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio. It was there that the Lions found their mission. Click here to view the full transcript of the speech Helen Keller made on that historic day.