HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are more than 60 Lions Clubs in Hawaii, with more than 2,000 members serving our communities.
But the pandemic and the stay-at-home mandate put a lot of their projects on hold. One club, however, that started last year had the perfect timing.
“Getting a club that says, ‘Hey, you don’t have to come to meetings, we’re gonna have projects so just come to do the projects,” said Hawaii Cyber Lions Club President Peggy Oyama.
That club is the first Hawaii Cyber Lions Club, an online Lions club that’s also designed to encourage women and younger people to join, and it’s working — 41 members in less than a year.
Their youngest member?
“Maybe -years-old and the oldest ones are over 60. That’s all I’m gonna say,” laughed Oyama.
“Peggy really had the foresight to start this in Hawaii and as you say, it was very fortuitous,” said Cyber Lions Assoc. Member and Koko Head Lions Member Richard Ching. “To get it off and running before all this happened.”
Cyber Lions just went to work. All it took was another email.
“I ended up sending one to the club and said, ‘Hey, with the pandemic, are there any projects you can think of that we could try to do during this time?” asked Oyama.
One member suggested 3D printing PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) for frontline workers. Another, Travis Ito, volunteered to head it. Getting printers and refining a prototype through hospital worker feedback.
“When I found out what the Cyber Lions were doing during this pandemic, I emailed Peggy back and asked what kind of woman power do they need,” said Cyber Lions Volunteer/Hawaii Kai Lions Member Frances Lum.
Frances is one of the assemblers who attaches the 3D printed pieces to shields.
Still, other members deliver to nursing homes and hospitals, which fill up the gap until PPE manufacturers can catch up with demand.
“When I did bring the shields over they were so, they were like kids receiving Christmas presents,” said Ching.
The Cyber Lions has delivered 300 face shields so far, soon to Maui too. Their goal is 4,000 within the next couple of months, all free.
“My days are filled more than they had been prior to all of this and it’s good because it keeps me active,” said Lum. “I’ve learned things and the bottom line is really that we’re helping someone.”
“It’s part of lionism, lionism is we serve, that’s our motto,” said Ching.
If you’d like to donate or volunteer, go to Hawaii Lions.