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American Falls Lions Club, District 39E
As lions, we provide service to those in need. We partner with other professionals and organizations to improve the health and well-being of those seeking assistance in life. We encourage and give hope to those who are going through challenging times. This is a story of a small Lions club in American Falls, Idaho that provided hope and assistance to a young single mother of two.
A member of American Falls Lions Club is the proprietor of the only pharmacy in our small community. He employees ten individuals within his store. Out of the ten employees, 6 work in the Pharmacy department. The remaining work the old Soda Fountain counter and other areas within the store. He had noticed that one of his employees was struggling at work. He inquired into her plight. She explained that she had been to the doctor and he had referred her to an ophthalmologist in another community (30 miles away). The ophthalmologist had diagnosis her eye problem and she would need corrective surgery. The good news was that they had caught it in time. If she had waited a few more months, he was not sure if he could correct her eyesight. She would need eye surgery and therein lies the problem. She was a single mother of two children in grade school and was not able to cover the entire cost of the surgery. The member of the club told her that he may be able to help.
At the next club’s meeting he presented the plight of the young lady that was working at the Rockland Pharmacy. As he presented the situation to the club, several members asked clarifying questions. He pointed out that she was the only breadwinner in the house and being a single mother of two this was a major financial burden. She would need some assistance in getting the necessary eye surgery. She had insurance. But it was very basic in coverage. She was caught in insurance limbo due the fact her salary would not allow her take advantage of ACA. The club members discuss the situation at length and started to form a plan. Various members volunteered to do some research on various foundations and eye surgeons in the region.
American Falls Lions Club reached out to Lions Envision Sight foundation in Boise, Idaho to see if they would be able to help. Lions Envision Sight is a non-profit organization supported by the Lions Clubs of Idaho and Eastern Washington. Their main function is to assist individuals in time of need to help in restoring their eyesight. Envision is one of 70 eye banks in the United States to serve the sightless worldwide. The foundation was contacted and would be able to provide some assistance. This was a good start. Other members were able to contact some surgeons that would be willing to help. The cost would be the big hurdle.
Two meetings later, the young single mother was present. The members of the club had reached out to a few surgeons in the area and with the help from Envision were able to put together an action plan. The club utilize their resources to help cover the financial discrepancy via their fundraising activities. Once, everything was in place the surgery took place. The surgery was a success. The single mother was able to go back at work after her recovery. She is presently working fulltime again.
Side Note: She came back after her recovery to thank the club for their kindness. She stipulated that she would be available to help out at any of our upcoming projects. She will be a good addition.