The Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation of Southern California funds services to restore the gifts of sight and hearing for those who can’t afford the help they need.
Lions Clubs have a long history of supporting services for the vision-impaired that originates back to 1925 when Helen Keller issued a challenge to the Lions International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio.
“I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?”
The Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation (LSH) has its roots in two foundations that started in the mid-1960s.
The Lions Eye Foundation of Southern California (LEFSC) was formed in 1963 to support the work of the Doheny Eye Institute and its corneal transplant bank.
The Southern California Lions Eye Institute (SCLEI) grew out of a project of the Santa Monica Lions Club to provide eye surgery for those who couldn’t afford it at St. John’s Hospital under the direction of Dr. Robert Sinskey.
Eventually the organization grew to incorporate Lions Clubs over a wider area in Southern California.
In 2009 the two organizations merged.
In 2011 the foundation added a hearing program in recognition that hearing impairment presented a huge unmet need, since hearings aids were not covered by most health insurance, including Medicare.
Today the Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation retains its close connection with Lions Clubs, and is a endorsed by Lions Clubs and Lions International.
It welcomes participation from everyone and non-Lions serve on its Board of Directors. It draws support from Lions Clubs as well as foundations, corporations and individual donors.
LSH Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, incorporated in 1963 in accordance with the laws of the state of California, Internal Revenue Code #95-2916098. LSH receives no federal, state or local government funding.