The Lions Club Freising belongs to the umbrella organisation of Lions Club International. It has existed since 1917 and, with over 1.4 million members in a good 48,000 clubs from over 200 countries and territories, is the service club organisation with the largest membership in the world. LIONS stands for Liberty, Intelligence, and Our Nation's Safety.
Against this background, the Freising Lions Club is also committed to the international motto "We serve". They participate in worldwide development aid programmes, such as the "Sight First" campaign, with donations for eye operations and glasses for poorer countries. But the focus of the commitment is on the region, explains Markus Niedermeier. He is a native of Freising and will take over the club presidency for one year in the summer of 2021. "I joined the Leo Club, our youth organisation, in 1996," Niedermeier says. Together with the board and members, an appropriate programme of active help is developed at the club evenings or the jour fixe, says the business administration graduate, who is part of the management of a large financial services provider. The activities and projects are as diverse as the composition of the club. For example, the HilDa project (women's emergency call and specialist counselling centre of the Diakonie in Freising), the Freisinger Tafel or the Rufbus, a transport service for young people, are supported. "We look at where there are gaps and try to fill them with our help," says the 40-year-old. And in doing so, "one's manpower" would be in demand. People lend a hand at the Lions Club Freising, not only when organising big band concerts or the mulled wine stand at the Christmas market. The goal is to "make a difference" - with energy - but also with financial support. As a non-profit association, the Lions Club passes on all donations and proceeds 1:1 to its aid projects.
The topics of sustainability, environmental and climate protection also fit well with the Lions social and community engagement. "Our help should contribute to preserving the basis of life," Niedermeier describes the approach and puts the tree sponsorship of the Freising Lions in this context. After all, planting a tree in Weihenstephan is as regional as it is sustainable.
"In the arboretum, however, what I like most is the biodiversity of the trees, which come from regions all over the world and will also thrive well in our latitudes due to climate change." His club is sponsoring a Korean Snakeskin Maple (Acer tegmentosum). When the arboretum brings Asia to Bavaria, it is not only telling the story of sustainable growth - it is also telling the story of diversity, cosmopolitanism and togetherness - in other words, of the same values that Lions clubs uphold worldwide.