The St. Jacobs Lions Club is honouring Home Hardware tonight with the Helen Keller Fellowship Award, thanking the company for their dedication to helping the visually impaired and the strong charitable presence they have in the community.
The award was created by the Lions Home for the Deaf, honouring outstanding citizens and organizations in the Lions Club scope after Helen Keller’s 1925 speech at the Lions Clubs International Convention, challenging Lions members to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
Director of the St. Jacobs Lions Club Bruce Schweitzer, a previous Helen Keller Fellowship Award recipient, says Home Hardware is the perfect honouree for the award.
“They have been a good friend of ours over the years. The biggest thing they are doing for us right now is with our vision program. The glasses that get taken to Guatemala, we collect them, and Home Hardware ships the free for us to Montreal where they are sorted and then they come back and get distributed throughout the world,” he said. “Their printing shop has done a lot of printing for us throughout the years, they have been a good supporter of the Christmas party and they allow us to collect donations at their store. (Last weekend) we (were) out there collecting for guide dogs.”
Home Hardware president Paul Straus will be accepting the award at the St. Jacobs Lions Hall tonight (May 4). Company spokesperson Jessica Kuepfer says it’s an honour to be the St. Jacobs Lions Club’s chosen recipient for the fellowship award.
“We are absolutely thrilled. It is a local Lions Club, and Home Hardware is always happy to support our local community. We are happy for that reason, and also that charity is something that is near and dear to our hearts. We are very excited that we are being recognized and we are very honoured. It is an outstanding award and we’re humbled to be given such a wonderful award,” she said.
Home Hardware doesn’t just help the visually impaired by shipping the glasses collected by the Lions Club, they also collect their own.
“We have a collection box in our special events hall. Any time we have a pair of glasses that we want to send to someone who may need them, that has been an ongoing collection. We have a staff member who helps organize, in conjunction with our special events, a huge drive for them as well,” she said. “He has filled cars full of glasses, so we have done big public pushes, with some big key events, but we also have that ongoing collection as well.”
Kuepfer says Home Hardware wants to thank the St. Jacobs Lions for thinking of them for the Helen Keller Fellowship Award.
“We want to extend a big thank you and a deep appreciation for what they bring to our community. We are just honoured,” she said.