Lions speedily route relief

MONEY donated to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan through Lions Clubs is already having an effect.

Mr Rod Wainwright, of Todmorden Lions, said local people had been supporting the appeal via the Lions’ account at Lloyd’s Bank, Halifax Road, Todmorden.

He said Lions Disaster Relief Committee representative for the British Isles and Ireland, Bill Blake, had written to him to say that internationally Lions had donated $6 million already and this had been made available for immediate and longer term relief.

The 100,000 members of Lions Clubs in Japan had quickly set up four relief aid warehouses in affected areas, co-ordinating relief with local government officials and the Japanese Red Cross.

With some roads re-opened, Lions were also co-ordinating delivery of essential provisions such as rice, baby formula, women’s health products and Lions blue relief tents which were also giving shelter for Lions volunteers and other aid workers.

Mr Wainwright said there were 31 Lions Clubs in Sendai, the largest city affected by the quake, and a club in virtually every town up and down the coastline. “Unlike many other major charities, not one penny is spent on administration or salaries,” he said.

The Lions account has also been taking donations after the New Zealand earthquake - staff will ask donors whether they would prefer their donation to go to Japan or New Zealand.