Lion March 2014 : Page 22

LIONS ON LOCATION The Ultimate Donation: Legos Lions in Estonia provided a mini-bus to an orphanage, ren-ovated its rooms, bought furniture, replaced a lawn mower and even donated bicycles. But what really delighted the chil-dren were the two pallets of Lego sets given to them. The donation came about because of a chance meeting between the club’s vice president and a Lion from Denmark, where the Lego company is based, at breakfast at a hotel in Hamburg, where the two Lions were last July for the inter-national convention. Children at Tudulinna orphanage in Estonia play with the donated Legos. Simo Mark, vice president of the Tallinn EEST-I Lions Club, says the children, who have few toys, spend countless hours with the Legos. “The feedback from the orphanages has been very good as Legos are really developmental toys. I was told that even children with big difficulty in concen-trating can play with the Legos for hours,” says Mark. His club has supported the Tudulinna orphanage in east-ern Estonia and its 22 children since 2011. The region suf-fers from high unemployment and myriad social problems. Many of the children’s parents are actually alive, but they ended up in the home because of their parents’ addiction to drugs or alcohol. The bus enables orphanage staff to take the children to doctors, psychologists, school and summer camps. The Lions pay for many of these activities. The Lions use their business connections to help the chil-dren. Toomas Sarelaid, second vice president and manager of a car dealership, called a supplier of his company when he discovered the home’s lawn mower was broken. “Of course, they wanted to help, and the orphanage got an absolutely new and powerful one for free,” says Mark, who owns three companies with his wife. “Toomas took his car, drove 120 kilometers and after two and half hours delivered the new lawnmower. Done. No big fuss. That’s the spirit of our club.” Mark’s chance encounter with Past District Governor Jimmy Nonbo of Denmark led to the donation through LEGO Charity, which gave away more than 55,000 sets or boxes of Legos in 2012. “It helped that I can speak Swedish and understand a bit of Danish. Danes understand Swedish,” says Mark. Project Warms the Heart–and Body Nearly every Finn loves the cleansing warmth of a sauna. That includes those with disabilities. So to celebrate its 50th anniversary the Oulu Sillat Lions Club built a first-rate, freestanding sauna to accommodate those with special needs. The 25-member club spent nearly US$40,000 on the unusual sauna, which has a ramp on the outside and three interior levels without steps. 22 LION MARCH 2014

Previous Page  Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here