The All Nations Lions Club in Budapest works tirelessly to support people in need.
Interview with Andreas Vogler of All Nations Lions Club
Please tell us some of the projects operated by your Lions club.
First of all I would like to stress the Lions’ mission statement: We serve! We do this in a hands-on manner, going directly to the people in need.
One of our highly successful projects is our support for the Norbertine Sisters in Zsámbék. The Sisters developed a comprehensive and effective social support service comprising food distributions, help for housing, and schooling and vocational training for socially disadvantaged families. We are extremely proud that our club contributes to this professional program for over ten years, with a monthly delivery of food and extra donations such as clothes, sports equipment, and furniture for the schools.
Another success story is the packing of 1,000 bags every St. Nicholas’ Day with toys, sweets, and useful items for everyday life. These are delivered every year to 1,000 children in children’s homes, kindergartens & hospitals, making them feel special and touching hearts again and again.
Are there projects on the horizon that our readers can help with?
Yes of course! In addition to extra support for the projects stated above, we hope to replace worn-out tools in the training workshops that the Sis- ters operate for the vocational training of their protégés. We have the requirement lists ready and would need financial or practical donations to realise this aim.
Do you work in cooperation with other charitable services/community groups?
Yes, especially when others can add expertise to our project. In Zsámbék we collaborate strongly with the Sisters: we give our donations and time, they make sure the services are handled professionally and effectively via their experience and proven programs. This ensures that all donations and services are invested as effectively as possible.
We work together with the Lions’ youth organization – the Leos – and other Lions Clubs worldwide. Last year the Turkish Lions sent us white canes for the blind, which enabled a Leo club in Budapest to support blind children.
Finally, we collaborate with companies within their corporate social responsibility frameworks. For example, we arranged the recycling of written-off laptops by donating them to a school for IT education to socially disadvantaged children.
Which projects most closely link to Active8 Budapest’s focus of keeping the Mind, Body and Spirit healthy and active?
Together with some sports experts and other Lions clubs, we arranged a children’s day with games, sports and fun in a children’s home in Bicske. together with the ‘Toastmasters’ organization we held a communication training and career day for young people, to prepare students for the labor market. For years, we have provided free vision tests to children in need, also donating glasses if needed. However, to continue this project we need a new optician to volunteer.
What special fundraising events do you hold for the general public?
Our main fundraising event is our annual charity Gala in March. This provides a colorful and enjoyable program, mirroring the diversity of cultures in the world and raising important funds to support children in need. Every year the Gala attracts more than 300 people. This year we may add other fundraising events like smaller concerts, shows or dinners.
Can anybody volunteer for the Lions Club? How?
Anybody can join who is committed to our mission. People willing to deliver social services in a hands-on manner, to give time, and to share expertise and capacities to help people in need are welcome.
The easiest way is to join a club event (check our website or FB page), or attend our meeting every first Tuesday of the month, September to June.
What would you highlight as the club’s most special achievement over its many years of wonderful support to the community?
Our long-term and ongoing support for the wonderful work of the Norbertine sisters in Zsámbék, which continually reaches hundreds of people in need. It is a good feeling to know that our club makes a critical contribution to helping socially disadvantaged people in order to stabilize and improve their life.