by John O’Neill
I am a proud member of my local Lions Club, as well as the Legion here in Nelson, B.C. It will be my 43rd year as a member of the Legion and I have 21 years with the Lions Club.
We do community events like pancake breakfasts, host magic shows and our firewood sale. We raise money so we can donate to local charities and scholarships.
In 1974, I joined the Royal Canadian Legion branch 43 in Oshawa, Ontario when I was 18. My father was the first veteran to have all his family (me and mom and my three sisters) as part of the Legion. My dad was recognized for that.
As soon as I was able, I joined the committee to visit those who were not able to get out of their home. To me, I was giving back and thanking those veterans who fought for freedom.
Being part of my service clubs contributes to my health and wellness. I feel good when the community comes up and tells us how grateful they are to have us. I get a big smile on my face when I know I’m contributing and that I am recognized. It builds my confidence. People care that I’m doing things for our community.
You don’t have to be able-bodied to be a member. Everyone is treated the same way as anyone else and that feels good. As an organization we are kind of like a family. We work together to make our community better. I feel healthy and good inside when I know I’ve made a difference.
Check out your local service clubs to see if you can join and give back to your community.
Find your local Lion’s Club by visiting: www.lionsclubs.org (click on “Club Locator”)
Find your local Legion at: www.Legion.ca (click on “Branch Locator”)