In 1930, the president of the Peoria, IL Lions Club, George A. Bonham, started the idea of using a white cane with a red band at its base as a way to make the cane used by the blind more recognizable and to make it a unique way of emphasizing the users special need for travel consideration among the sighted majority.
Today White Cane laws are on the books of every state in the Union as well as many other countries, providing blind people a legal status in traffic.
In 1964 the Lions Clubs of Tennessee adopted the white cane described above as a symbol but changed the concept. Instead of being a day to promote recognition of the unique travel needs of the blind, White Cane Days became a day on which funds can raised to be utilized in sight conservation and restoration and to aid and assist the visually challenged in other ways. District 12-I distributes gifts to White Cane among the following projects:
Serves Pre-K-12 students who are blind and visually impaired from all across the State of Tennessee. TSB provides information, education, counseling and technical assistance to families as well as children. The Lions Tennessee School for the Blind Fund provides a student work program, a low vision
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Rochester, Michigan whose mission is empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for independent travel through quality
Leader Dogs, highly effective client instruction and innovative services. With this goal Leader Dog provides a 25 day residential program, free of charge for clients to train with a Leader Dog. Over 14,500 teams have been trained in obedience, in dealing with traffic and confusing situations such as crowds, traffic, obstacles, moving sidewalks, escalators, revolving doors, etc. A 7- day residential program, for clients to learn how to travel independently with the use of a white cane is also offered. A Leader Dog Summer Experience Camp is a 7-day residential program for youths 16 and 17 years of age who are legally blind. The camp is about having fun, learning new things, challenging the participants and making new friends. Most importantly the program is designed to strengthening their independence in new ways. For additional information or visit http://www.leaderdog.org/
Provides financial assistance to folks in Districts 12-I and 12-S, who do not qualify for other resources, in obtaining vision related medical treatment in designated hospitals. Applicants must be sponsored by a Lions Club and accepted for service by MTLSS. Applications for service should be sent to: MTLSS, 911 Westside Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Donation should be made to MTLSS and sent to: Linda Justice, P.O. Box 533, Tullahoma, TN 37388.
A rehabilitation center in Little Rock, AR to teach independent living or job training skills. Includes a personal adjustment center for for those with adult onset of blindness, vocational training, job placement assistance and a college prep course. www.wsblind.org
National non-profit education library for people with print disabilities. Records mostly educational materials for students in kindergarten through graduate school http://www.learningally.org/
Serves K-12 students from all across the state of Tennessee. The School provides a total learning environment that utilizes state of the art curricula, materials
and methods for the purpose of preparing students for adult life. Lions contributions are the primary source of funds for the TSD Benevolent Fund and the TSD Summer Camps that serves deaf and hard of hearing students that attend either TSD or other programs in Tennessee. http://tsdeaf.org/
assistance program, summer enrichment programs, funding for Boy & Girls Scouts, a graduating senior survival kit, and a personal gift to each student at Lions Day At TSB the second Friday in December. http://www.tsbtigers.org
"You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else..." - Melvin Jones