A few years ago the Apex Lions Board of Directors began the process of establishing a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization to associate with our Lions Club. Last year we were granted the 501(c)3 status for the Apex Lions Charitable Fund. Note that all Lions Clubs are considered 501(c)4 charitable organizations but 501(c)3 is a much more difficult status to achieve and maintain but also provides some benefits that are definitely worth having.
Carl started by asking if any of our members knew the name of our 501(c)3 organization. Nobody did which is an indication that we have not done a very good job yet of telling anyone about it. We have work to do here! Then he asked if anyone knew why we formed a 501(c)3 and a couple members suggested that it had to do with donating on a tax deductible basis, which was at least partially correct. Then he told them about his visit with Beth Bordeaux of Western Wake Crisis Ministry and her reply about the importance of a 501(c)3 was “That It Makes an Organization legitimate”. People know the IRS has reviewed the business and by giving it a tax exempt number it is OK.
So how do we promote the Apex Lions Charitable Fund (ALCF)? We must tell what we do before we can do fund raisers and apply for grants etc. Carl read what some other organizations said they did and provided us with take home materials in a finder. He then said he got an idea about what ALCF could be from a recent bible study, “Made For A Miracle” and how his pastor said there was a miracle in each of us. The video in the bible study showcased a woman living outside Dayton Ohio who was raised in the hills of East TN like he was. She was raised in poverty and went to bed hungry many nights. At the age of 80 she decided she wanted to give back and accomplish something, so she started a 501(c)3 and in 3 years had 25 non paid volunteers to help staff an up scale thrift shop selling $5000-$8000 a week in merchandise all donated to them. This money was then used to help feed the needy in the area.
So his thought was “ALCF-Making Miracles Happen In Apex”. Do we know what kind of miracles are needed? Did we know 5% of Apex population live below the poverty level? 11% of the senior population live below the poverty level? 30% of the Apex population are either elderly or disabled?
He then challenged us with the following questions: What are three miracles each Lions Club member would like to make happen in Apex through ALCF and would we be willing to get involved? He asked that the sheet in the packet be filled out and returned to him at the next meeting. Horace and Sandra thought a good miracle would be for all elementary school students have glasses and we help those that can’t afford them.
To be continued…