Service club sets 'high goals' to better community
What started out as four students wanting to form a service club has grown 14 times its size in two years. With its various service projects and goals, MSU Campus Lions Club has been striving toward a goal of bettering communities, according to members.
The founding MSU Lions worked for a year and a half to organize what is now a nationally recognized Lions Club in the District 11-C2, Guiding Lion Ray Robins said. The club is now made up of 56 members.
Robins has been involved with the for 21 years and serves as a mentor to the on-campus group, providing insight and advice when needed, but ultimately lets the group act independently. He said the reason behind the club’s success is the members’ abilities to set goals and achieve them on a semester basis.
“Quite frankly, they’re one of the most active clubs in our area because they’ve set very high goals,” Robins said.
Although the group has only been active for two years, they have immersed themselves in service to the community. From volunteering throughout the school year at Brookdale Senior Living to carrying out , the MSU Lions keep busy.
“They love us coming there,” MSU Campus Lions Club president Kayley Langlands said. The club volunteers at Brookdale twice a month.
Last year, the club kept interactions with the residents relatively light by playing games with them.
“We’re kind of going to take a shift,” Langlands, a human biology sophomore, said. “We’re going to start doing more science-based activities. ... We were talking about doing something with Nerf guns where (the residents) would aim at balloons.”
The Lions want to utilize their science educational backgrounds and introduce experiments, engineering tasks and activities that will heighten fine motor skills and meet the needs of the residents.
Project KidSight is the Lions Club International’s nationwide endeavor to help children see better. Participating Lions get trained on the proper equipment and are able to perform eye exams for those in need.
“Lions are known worldwide for helping out the blind and those who need eyeglasses,” Robins said.
Robins had no role in helping the MSU Lions choose where to extend their philanthropic efforts — they followed in the traditional footsteps of a Lion.
“I get so much joy out of (MSU Campus Lions Club),” Langlands said. “I like slowing down and doing something different for the community rather than just academics.”
The residents of Brookdale Senior Living home enjoy the students visiting just as much as the students enjoy helping them, program director Robin Steele said.
“If you go into their rooms, they each have a calendar and MSU Lions Club is always highlighted,” Steele said. “They look forward to them and talk about them even after they’ve left.”
Steele expressed that having the Lions come in to help, especially around the holidays when they decorate the facility, is helpful.
“It can become very lonely in places like this,” she said. “They don’t have family around. They enjoy having that communication with them.”
Langlands said the MSU Campus Lions Club will continue its volunteer efforts through the end of the semester and have plans to host their Spartan Global Day of Service event at Brookdale.