Where There is a Need, There is a Lion
August 10, 2020
We have a lot of people on the Oasis Gives team who give their personal time to organizations and causes they care about through volunteer work. This month, we’re giving Jeffrey Morales, Oasis Senior Solutions Engineer, our Volunteer Spotlight to share his lifelong connection with The Lions Club.
Growing Up with The Lions Club
While Lions Clubs International has a few defined areas of service such as fighting world hunger and diabetes, we are always encouraged to help in all ways possible. Our slogan used to be, “where there is a need, there is a Lion,” which emphasized our global availability and immediate response to those in need during emergencies and natural disasters. Today, our slogan is, “We Serve,” which is a simple phrase that shares the purpose coursing through each Lion’s veins–to help others in need. This has been a way of life for me.
Being a part of the Lions Club was always an aspect of my family while growing up. My maternal grandparents, Anita and Octavio, aided in founding the Lions Club in their city of Nindiri, Nicaragua, years before I was born. My grandfather passed away when I was very young, but I always remember hearing stories from my grandmother about working with the Lions Club–raising money for special causes, organizing events to help others–all while building a close-knit group of friends within their community. The most interesting stories were not about their service but about the actual club members and how they participated in activities together.
The Code of Ethics & a Way of Life
Looking back on it, I did not grasp many of these stories’ morals at the time; I just found them entertaining. However, now I understand that my grandmother was telling her stories to teach me about kindness, humility, empathy, generosity, respect, tolerance, and the impact one person can make. Her stories taught me the equivalent of the Purpose and Code of Ethics that The Lions Club has established for its members since inception, which is still intact today:
- Keep a good reputation
- Seek success fairly
- Promote without tarnishing others
- Behave in an ethical manner
- Establish true friendships
- Fulfill civic duties
- Help those in need
- Praise others and minimize criticism
My Chance to Give Back
In my first year, I realized how much of an impact you can make when you put your heart into a good purpose; all of my grandmother’s stories started coming back to me and I began to connect them with my own service activities.
That first year, I participated in so many service projects. We gave over 500 kids in a rural community dental care, visited rest homes to provide quality time and food provisions, helped an orphanage create a memorable birthday celebration for three young women who would have otherwise had nothing on their special day. We also established relationships with Clubs from other countries to prepare for bigger projects that all became a reality the following year. On top of that, we did a lot of small activities which, though small, were just as important. One person does make a difference.
What The Lions Club Has Given Me
Since the beginning, the Lions Club has taught me a lot–not only in organizational structure and service activities but also in character. I have grown as a person and feel that I now carry the Lions Clubs Code of Ethics as something to strive for each day. I have also been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve as club president for two consecutive annual terms. It was a great experience filled with hard work, responsibility, and a chance to carry the message to others of what it takes to be a Lion.
I would like to conclude by proudly sharing that as of July, I was sworn into the District’s highest honor–Lions Clubs District Governor–a role which I am honored to hold and one that will grant me various opportunities to accomplish even more than I have in the past. I am genuinely honored to have been elected to such a post and I will carry it out to the best of my ability. Finally, as great as this achievement is, it does not compare to what I consider as the most important accomplishment, which is connecting my grandmother’s stories of values (kindness, humility, empathy, tolerance, respect, and generosity), with the sense of community the Lions Club has cultivated, and its impact on my life.
Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Our 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions Clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives, and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.