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Announcing The 40th Blind Week Appeal!

Preparations for this year's Blind Week Appeal are well underway, for the 40th year in a row!

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) will run their annual Blind Week Appeal from Monday 23 October to Monday 29 October - raising money to provide essential services for blind and sight-impaired New Zealanders.

Blind Week is the Foundation's main fundraising campaign. Income from the appeal makes up part of the annual $12 million the Foundation has to find each year from donations, sponsorships, bequests, direct mail, grants from trusts and merchandising.

"This is a really important appeal for us and even more special because it's the 40th year the appeal has been run," says Jeanette Manson, RNZFB Fundraising National Manager.

"We are aiming to raise over $1 million from the Blind Week Appeal, but every year it gets tougher and tougher competing with more not-for-profits for the charity dollar.

"We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from the New Zealand public throughout the appeal week. This support provides services for blind and sight-impaired people to challenge their sight-loss and maintain their independence."

Ms Manson says the Foundation has a strong advertising campaign planned.

"The campaign will question people's perceptions about how blind and sight-impaired people 'see' the world.

"Most people never think about the everyday challenges that blind people face - from simple household tasks to getting around safely in their community.

"This is why services provided by the Foundation are so important. Much of the work our highly trained and specialised staff do with blind and sight-impaired people involves teaching them how to do tasks sighted people take for granted."

The appeal will consist of a national collection in malls, streets and main shopping centres, a national mail-out and door-to-door collection. If people miss the door-to-door collection, they can still give to Blind Week by posting back their Blind Week envelopes.

People can also help by becoming a volunteer. If you are interested in helping the Foundation by volunteering 2-3 hours (or more!) of time please phone 0800 002 345 and you will be connected with your nearest RNZFB regional fundraising manager.

"And don't forget to give generously when a collector calls at your door or you see them in town!" says Ms Manson.

-ends-

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