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Lions are members of community service clubs, dedicated to the idea that the men and women who live in a community are in the best position to know who needs help and why. More than 44,000 strong, these local clubs are part of the world's largest such organization, with 1.4 million members serving in more than 180 countries and areas. The association is both non-political and non-sectarian. Lions are now best known for their sight-related programs, including SightFirst, the world's largest blindness prevention program.
Lions are recognized worldwide for their service to the blind and visually impaired. This service began when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become her "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness" during the association's 1925 international convention. Today, in addition to their international Sight First program, Lions extend their commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts:Lions provide 600,000 free professional glaucoma screenings and make 20,000 corneal transplants possible each year.Lions establish and support a majority of the world's eye banks, hundreds of clinics, hospitals and eye research centers worldwide Lions provide thousands each year with free quality eye care, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, large print texts, white canes and guide dogs.Lions collect more than 3 million pairs of used eyeglasses each year for distribution in developing countries. Lions are also involved in a variety of other activities to improve their communities and help people in need, such as assisting the hearing impaired, and working with diabetes awareness and education, environmental projects and youth programs.
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