The Baguio Everlasting Lions Club: Serving and Sharing Safely amidst the pandemic

TWO hundred eight families of the visually-impaired in Baguio City and Benguet benefited from the recent outreach project dubbed as "Together We Share and Serve Safely in this Covid-19 Pandemic" of The Baguio Everlasting Lions Club (BELC) held on September 19, 2020 at the Melvin Jones, Burnham Park.

Every family was given face shields and food packs containing premium-grade, mongo, canned goods, milk, coffee, brown sugar, pan de suelo and pandesal, including Nutri-butter and vitamin and mineral supplements.

The major thrust of Lionism is VISION and the efforts of Lions all over the world in this field are expansive. During the pandemic, one of the most affected sectors are the blind masseurs in our city who cannot easily find other means of income due to their visual disability. There are those who lost their jobs and were not recipients of social amelioration from the government. It is with this premise that the BELC came up with this outreach program where recipients were identified by the club members and by a blind member of the blind's association.

This project was headed by Lion Dr. Lillian D. OpeƱa, the club's administrator and Lion Dr. Joanne J. Balderas as the co-chairperson, with the full support of their president, Lion Emma Dela Cruz and is a concerted effort with Phoenix Phil-am Lions Club, D21-C Arizona, USA with their member Lion Carolina Macaraeg as proponent. The success of this project was the result of a collaborative effort from both clubs , including the board of directors, officers and its members. A written proposal was sent to the Phoenix Phil-am Lions Club followed by a presentation via a zoom meeting where a budget of USD2,000 was subsequently approved in addition to the P60,000 raised by the BELC.

This is in fact the third joint project of the two clubs. Lion Carolina Macaraeg, a nurse and the wife of IPP Aureo "Mac" Macaraeg, hails from Aurora Hill Baguio City, hence her love for extending help to her kababayans in Baguio. The first joint mission held last March 1-2, 2019, was a two-day joint medical-dental-optical outreach, feeding, and donation of school bags and slippers to residents of Kias and Irisan Barangays, participated in by their delegation of 26 members. The 2nd joint mission was a 2-week feeding of meals last May 2020 to BGH nurses staying at Pines City Lions Clubhouse through the community kitchen.

For the officers and members of the BELC, whose current membership totals to 60 (i.e. 56 Regular Lions members, 2 Leo Lions and 2 Student Lions members), commitment to service is boundless, hence their devotion to their motto, "WESERVE through DIVERSITY" is greatly emulated by their past and recent service/s for the community.

The club's projects during the lockdown includes the club disaster -- relief fundraising for 200 sets of PPEs -- bunny suits, face shields, face masks and adult and pediatric aerosol boxes to SLU Hospital, Baguio Benguet Medical Society, and Baguio City EMS PPEs last April 11, 2019; Together with the Phoenix Phil-am Lions Club, they hosted a 2-weeks feeding of lunch and donated groceries, water and toiletries to the BGH nurses at PCL Clubhouse in May 2020; A clean-up drive of the BELC park at Camp 7, Kennon road followed on July 2020 and a book donation for the kids to provide reading and learning resources during the lockdown plus a tree planting of 25 fruit-bearing trees at San Pascual, Tuba -- avocados, guava, mangosteen and langka, to name a few.

Chartered on April 5, 1994 with PDG Gloria A. Vergara as its charter president, the BAGUIO EVERLASTING LIONS CLUB, now on its 26 years of their unrelenting commitment to serving the community accompanied by camaraderie and unity within the club will continue to provide aid to those in need with vision, medical and dental mission as their main thrust.



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