Godfrey Lions Club volunteers will be back at a street corner for the second time in recent weeks from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at State Street and the start of the Great River Road in Alton in front of Conagra in Alton.
Previously, the club had members at Humbert Road and Tolle Lane in Godfrey and collected about $1,150 in one day for Lions volunteer causes, primarily its eyeglass program for those in need.
Lori Smith is the publicity person for the collection, and she will be in one of the two-hour shifts on the street corner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. She said this is one of the most satisfying volunteer projects she participates in each year. She has been in the club for the last 14 years.
“People were pretty generous the last time and we are hoping they will have the same generosity as before,” she said. “Our money is used to help people who cannot afford eye glasses. Many of those people can’t pass a driving test or can’t pass some of the tests they need for a job. We rely totally on donations. It is very important people donate whatever they can.”
Smith said when she stands at the street corners collecting donations, a lot goes through her mind.
“I love doing this for others,” she said. “It’s something that I feel very strongly about. My mom was a single mom raising four of us and we didn’t have the new clothes or didn’t have this and that, but amazingly, we all turned out to be good kids. I am just trying to give back and help the same people that need help.”
Each time a car pulls up, Smith said she and the other Lions are always hoping someone gives a few coins or a couple dollars.
“It doesn’t matter if it is just a few coins or whatever,” she said. “Every little bit helps and people shouldn’t be embarrassed if they give only a few coins. We are grateful for every donation. Some drive by in their new Mercedes and Cadillac and keep on going. That is OK, too. Some of the young kids reach in and don’t have anything, but reach in their ash/trays and throw their last bit of change into our buckets. That is the most amazing thing you will ever see.”
What always stays with Smith and the other Lions Club members are the people who share their appreciation and acknowledge what they do for others. The club also donates money so people can be tested for diabetes because the illness and vision problems go hand in hand.
Those who notice Smith at the corner with her bucket will see one thing: “I always have a smile on my face because I know I am helping others.”
Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender!