When Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the eastern seaboard of the United States in 2012, its impact was felt not just in the more than US$70 billion in property damage it inflicted, but also in the countless lives changed forever. Despite the fact that many of their members were among those affected, the Edison Visionary Lions Club of District 16-D (now 16-J) sprung to action to rebuild their community.
Utilizing the resources of US$740,000 given to Lions in five affected states, the local Lions worked with Leos, government agencies, and community partners to provide safe drinking water, much needed food and supplies, and warm winter clothing. The club, at that time having been in existence for less than two-and-a-half years, embarked on what would become its longest running project, which continues to this day.
When the club was first chartered in 2010, club leaders were approached by a local faith-based charity who needed more hands for their annual Thanksgiving meal for the homeless in nearby Perth Amboy. In 2012, the Edison Visionary Lions, seeing that the homeless were falling through the cracks of the disaster relief efforts, expanded the scope of the partnership, bringing more than 100 volunteers, winter clothes and blankets purchased using the LCIF grant, and a can-do Lions attitude. The partnership has flourished ever since, becoming a Thanksgiving tradition for local Lions and being held each year since, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year at the Thanksgiving meal, the Lions and Leos’ yellow shirts show the radiance of service made possible through the generous contributions to LCIF.
The recollection of how LCIF empowered Northeastern Lions to serve the needy in 2012 pushes Lions and Leos to give back. True to its name, the Edison Visionary Lions Club is a Campaign 100 Visionary Model Club. Alongside affiliated Lions and Leo clubs in the area, Edison Visionary Lions are proud to give back to their Foundation, so that it can continue to empower service worldwide.