Lions Work: Saturday Service Project – Greenhouse & Garden, Cupertino

A couple hours is all it took.

We were set to gather up some compost and complete delivery. Simple enough. A simple path to a little more GOOD.

The destination? A greenhouse and garden beds in need of good soil. This Saturday morning work was a short chapter in a bigger, new project underway from a few months back.

A bit of organization, a few simple tools, a good plan, and a residence card, that’s what was needed. And some sweat equity, something Lions are good at.

The reward? Dark and damp, rich and warm compost, two truckloads — or actually, one small pick-up truck, one Bronco filled with bags.

A few Lions, good fellowship, and we made pretty quick work of the job at hand.

Compost transferred to a greenhouse and garden beds at Camp Via (Via West Campus), which provides residential respite care with special needs camping programs to children and adults in the hills above Cupertino.

The greenhouse at the camp has been dormant for a few years. The DeAnza Lions Club was given the opportunity to bring it back to life, and a few of our members jumped at the chance to get their hands dirty and give the greenhouse and garden beds a fresh start.

Many different aspects of GOOD here:

1/ refreshed purpose of an unused resource.

2/ an opportunity to provide organic, fresh produce to those in need in the community, and for the campers when they return after the pandemic subsides;

3/ a fantastic opportunity to engage others in the community with Lions Work.

Like I said…GOOD. And Lions? WE SERVE. A great way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning.

Love for Others…YES

From Francis yesterday:

“Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives.

Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.

#FratelliTutti”

And then today:

“It is not enough to accept the invitation to follow the Lord; one must be open to a journey of conversion, which changes the heart.

The garment of mercy, which God offers us unceasingly, is the free gift of his love; it is grace.

#GospelOfTheDay”

Amen, AMEN.

This Is Community

We received this letter in the mail recently; it’s the second such letter since the pandemic took hold and shelter in place began.

The message this letter conveys is, “We’re in this situation together. There are people and organizations that want to help those in need; there are people Rut want to help you.

Let’s get through this together. We’re better as a community.

GOOD.

Charter Night: Celebrating Lionism

“Charter Night” is the annual gathering (usually an evening/dinner event) when and where a Lions club celebrates its founding and work.

I belong to a club in my community. Here’s a little something about my humble club, one of 46,000 in more than 200 countries around the world.

51 years.  FIFTY ONE YEARS. We’ve been around quite a while.


The Cupertino DeAnza Lions Club was established in 1969. 


Since that time and to this day, the primary focus of our club has been service. The primary draw of our club for new members has been service. The hook that keeps us all going is service.


And the bonus, the icing on the cake for all these years of service, what has it been?


It’s been the fellowship, the friendships that we have established and strengthened and enjoyed these many years; that fellowship has sustained us and energized us and resulted in service projects and charity work attending to those in need both near and far for decades.

These dual traits are the essence of Lionism:  Serving those in need, and enjoying fellowship along the way. 


As we celebrate and continue the work of the DeAnza Lions, let us keep these twin goals in mind, and also the wise words of our current International President, Dr. Jung-Yul Choi framed in the initiatives he defined this year.

President Choi’s programs and initiatives will focus on four key elements of Lions International that are essential to our mission of service.

  1. Strengthening membership through diversity
  2. Expanding service impact globally
  3. Supporting our global foundation, LCIF
  4. Empowering every Lion as a leader

Let us continue. Let us build on that motto established more than one hundred years ago when Lionism was first established:

WE SERVE.

Remember Me Out of Love

This refrain from Psalm 105 stands out for me this weekend. It’s from one of the Saturday readings.

In one of the loaves and fishes stories from Sunday, the motivation is similar: act out of love. Fundamentally, that’s what Jesus taught us. Act out of love.

Elsewhere in his teachings he boiled all the laws down to two basic rules: Love God. Love one another.

Let love guide all your actions and you’ll make the right decisions each time. Every time.

It’s not always easy, of course. Sometimes love is difficult to follow. But it’s always worth it. Always.

The Day After

The day after big events tends to be an experience unto itself. No different for our DeAnza Lions Charity Crab Feed.

Up late the night before, leaving the hall close to Midnight, it’s up the next morning to gather and clean all the pots and pans and mats and such.

The fellowship continues this second day. We gather at one of our members’ house to power wash and reorganize and reload. Only a handful show up. It’s a lot of work.

Four hours later, we’re done. Our storage space looks revamped; better organized; refreshed.

I grab a ride home with one of the guys after returning the box truck. We agree it was a successful event; we’ll see what the numbers say. One thing for sure:

All for the greater good. All to serve others.

The Lion Motto rings true: We Serve.

Finding Ways to Serve

The event gathers some 500 people to eat crab, enjoy music and fellowship too. It’s a great event.

On Saturday, the Eighth of February, the Lions club I belong to has it’s 24th Charity Crab Feed, to raise money for our club’s charity work.

It also takes a BUNCH of hours to produce. Some 30-40 people volunteer their time that day/evening to put the event on — and a smaller leader group puts in tens of hours prior planning, making arrangements, etc. for the actual event day.

It all comes down to service: how can we Lions raise money for the charity work that needs support; how can we engage our community to for awareness; what can we do to serve those in need and make it enjoyable along the way.

This Charity Crab Feed does the job. My gratitude and admiration to my fellow Lions who started this project nearly a quarter century ago, ten years before I became a Lion. My gratitude to those who support the event. My gratitude to all our Lions and Friends of Lions who do the work to make it happen.

Anatomy of a Crab Feed follows, images from the prep, from the day, from the clean-up.

LIONS. WE SERVE.

Lion Mike, Lions All, We Serve

The Monday before Thanksgiving our local Lions club delivered holiday dinner, plus extra food staples, for 170 plus families in need in our community.

The majority of our members, along with some awesome “civilian” volunteers, turn out over the three days prior to do with work planning, setting up at the grocery stores where we ask for food donations, collect the food, transport, sort, and then deliver the meals to five distribution points.

A lot of people come together to make the event a success. We rent a big delivery truck with cold storage, a couple trailers…it’s quite a production for our little group.

One guy in particular who shows up is Lion Mike. Here’s why I mention him specifically.

He moved out to Nevada a year or so back. That’s about 250 miles away. He comes down for the weekend to drive the refrigerator truck (with ~ 36’ length storage area) on the delivery day, maneuvering highways, surface streets, and parking lots, etc.

This sort of giving of one’s self, that’s the essence of Lionism. Sacrificing one’s own comfort to help others in need. Lion Mike, Lions all, living by a simple credo: We Serve.

Let this attitude that guides and motivates us during the holidays also light the way each and every day, as we continue on this season, and into the new year.

Let’s be like my man, Mike, and all my Lion brothers and sisters: Do what you can when given the chance. GOOD.