Past Lions District Governor (PDG) Willie Cooper of the Americus Lions Club has personal experience of what is needed when a disaster occurs in and around Americus, Ga. Basic hygiene care is not available to those affected and in most situations the lack of it can start stress related events in one’s life that can be prevented with simple planning and good hygiene habits.
What he and others noticed is that the most critical time of getting help out is during the first 72 hours of a disaster. After that, personal hygiene suffers because of a lack of the basic daily resources of clean water, soap and towels.
PDG Willie for the past three years has led the Lions Anthem Service project to provide hygiene kits when disaster relief is needed.
This year his efforts were to help South Georgia and Florida victims of Hurricane Michael in partnership with West Point Home LLC, who has provided towels for the hygiene kits each year.
Americus Lions Club, Columbus Lions Club, Greenville Lions Club and Leos Anthem Blue Cross employees, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Columbus Stake, have worked as partners each year to assemble the kits for distribution to those in need. Some kits have a towel set only; others have a towel set, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, and lotions.
Anthem Blue Cross employees, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lions clubs and Leos assembled 6,000 hygiene kits that included towel sets and 4,000 hygiene kits with towel sets a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, and lotion. 100 kits for kids were also assembled and included coloring books, crayons and pencils. 970 hours of service were completed assembling the 10,000 hygiene kits.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints contributed 330 hours of service stacking products into a storage area, unloading 53 ft. trailers and loading trucks for distribution in South Georgia and Florida.
District Governor (DG) Georgia Taylor, District Governor Bobby Wright, Past District Governors Willie Cooper and Jack Taylor worked a total of 60 service hours in Marianna, Florida at the following locations: James AME Church, and Marianna schools delivering a hygiene kit for each student, teacher and employee. Students at each school helped unload the truck.
Lions Georgia Taylor, Jack Taylor and Willie Cooper also worked five service hours unloading hygiene kits to the Donalsonville Lion Club.
Lion Willie Cooper and Donalsonville Lions Club members worked a total of 36 service hours unloading a truck at Donalsonville schools delivering a hygiene kit for each student, teacher and employee.
Companies who supported this project included Anthem Blue Cross employees, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, West Point Home LLC, Hampton Inn, Albany, GA, Dunkin Doughnuts, Albany, GA, Dr. Louis Riccardi, Americus, GA and Dr. N. Alexandre Riccardi, Americus, GA.
“It was a pleasure to come to Donalsonville and support President Becky Worsham and all the Donalsonville Lions Club members serving this great community,” commented PDG Willie Cooper.