Helen Keller’s importance to Lions Clubs International lies in her role as a powerful advocate for the visually impaired and her significant impact on sight-saving initiatives. Born in 1880, Helen Keller became deaf and blind at a young age due to illness. Despite these challenges, she went on to achieve remarkable success as an author, lecturer, and political activist. Her life story inspired people around the world, and her association with Lions Clubs International played a pivotal role in advancing their mission.

Helen Keller’s connection with The Lions began in 1925 when she attended their international convention and challenged the Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” This impassioned plea led to the adoption of sight conservation as a primary mission for Lions Clubs International. Keller’s advocacy brought visibility to the issue of preventable blindness and mobilized the Lions to take concrete actions in preventing and treating visual impairments globally.

One of the most enduring legacies of Helen Keller’s collaboration with Lions Clubs International is The Lions Eye Bank program. This program has Lions Eye Banks across the globe making a tangible impact on millions of lives. Through her partnership with Lions Clubs International, Helen Keller catalyzed a global movement to eradicate preventable blindness and improve the quality of life for those with visual impairments. Her tireless advocacy and the enduring impact continue to shape the Lions’ commitment to sight-saving initiatives to this day.

The Helen Keller Sight Saver Award, created by Central Ohio Lions Eye Bank to honor a nominated individual who embodies the charge the Lions Clubs received from Helen Keller in 1925 to “…hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness….” By spreading awareness, educating the community, or raising funds, the recipient of the Helen Keller Sight Saver Award has served as a Knight for the Blind in his or her community. 

If your Lions Club has donated $1000 and have someone that is deserving of this award do not hesitate to apply today.