Lions share their funds – in $100 increments

When service clubs contribute to charitable organizations in Mesa County, they usually write substantial checks.

One unintended result can be that people who need just a few bucks to get by can be overlooked.

That’s one reason the Grand Junction Lions Club launched its Random Acts of Kindness Program in 2004.

In early December, members of the Lions Club lined up to collect $100 each to donate to someone to help them have a little better holiday season than they normally would.

The program is designed to assist in meeting the needs of those who might otherwise go unrecognized or not receive assistance through more traditional community programs, according to a news release issued by the Lions Club.

In the past, random acts of kindness have helped pay for utility bills, prescription drugs, daycare services, blankets and food. The club directs members to refrain from giving money to panhandlers.

“Our members really enjoy this program,” said Ky Oday, president of the Grand Junction Lions Club.

“It’s one more way for the Grand Junction Lions to reach out to our community,” Oday said. “Considering the current economic conditions, this might be one of the very best things we can do to help out those in our community who are in real need this year.”

The Lions have contributed more than $120,000 to Random Acts of Kindness — $100 at a time — since the program started.

Like other service organizations, the Lions are familiar with making larger contributions to community organizations that help the needy. The local Lions have donated a total of more than $4 million to more than 200 organizations over the past 81 years.

The Lions’ share of the funds come from the annual Lions Club Carnival and Parade in February. Tickets for the upcoming event are available from club members, by calling Oday at 361-2370 or logging on to www.gjlions.com