A picture from the 61st Annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast.

October has been a busy month for the Santa Monica Lions. We have been busy distributing eyeglass and hearing aid collection boxes, gathering thrift for Helping Hands for the Blind, supporting member Kathy Boole’s fundraising efforts for the Santa Monica Breakfast Club and taking opportunities chance to work with other service clubs in Santa Monica.

St. John’s Health Center has requested several eyeglass and hearing aid collection boxes that will be distributed throughout the health care facility. If you have old glasses or hearing aids, you can drop them off there. In fact, because more people are donating these items, we will be publishing a list of collection locations on our Facebook page and our website next month. If you or anyone you know would like to have a collection box, please contact me at (310) 623-4499. We can make arrangements to get a collection box to you and schedule a pickup of the donated items.

Ho Nguyen led a collection of thrift for Helping Hands for the Blind (www.helpinghands4theblind.org/hand-up.html). Lions and friends collected over 20 bags and boxes of new and used clothes, household items, toys, books, small appliances and furniture. HH4B was founded 15 years ago as an organization of blind people who want to help other blind people by empowering them and providing assistance. If you want to donate items to HH4B, the group has a weekly pickup route on the Westside on Mondays. Call (818) 830-3907 to schedule a pickup.

Boole, meanwhile, is an amazing woman, always ready to lend a hand for any of our Lions functions. But we aren’t the only club to benefit from Kathy’s talents; she also chaired the Santa Monica Breakfast Club’s high tea event at Pacific Dining Car. Many Lions and their friends showed up in support. It was the first edition of what I am sure will become an annual event. Along with the delicious tea treats there was a silent auction. In addition to raising funds for the pediatric dental care of underprivileged families, the event honored Louise Gabriel.

This month I also had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Handy, the new president of the local Kiwanis Club. She called me, along with other service club presidents, regarding an idea she had about doing a joint fundraising project. It’s a great idea and I look forward to learning more about it next month.

As everyone’s lives become busier because of work or family commitments, it is easy to forget the joy of helping others in need while making new friends with shared values. That is what our local service clubs offer: friendship, laughter and an easy way to help others that need you. Next month the Lions are helping deliver meals with Meals on Wheels West on Nov. 18 and Nov. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering, call (310) 623-4499.

– Susan Lee DeRemer