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15,999 volunteers sought for Blind Week Appeal

15,999 volunteers sought for Blind Week Appeal

The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) is gearing up for its 42nd annual Blind Week appeal and needs at least another 15,999 volunteers nationwide to help with collections and administrative tasks.

The sixteen thousandth volunteer the RNZFB already knows is on its list is Waikato woman Jessie Main.

While Jessie won’t divulge her exact age, she has been an active collector for 41 years - missing only one year in the appeal’s history.

Mrs Main says she enjoys volunteering for Blind Week because she feels it is such a worthy cause. “I know people who have been affected by vision impairment, and it highlights how much your sight is an integral part of your life”, says Jessie.

Blind Week 2003 runs from 28 October to 3 November, and again features the campaign message of “We can’t afford for you not to see us”.

Jeanette Manson, RNZFB Divisional Manager Fundraising says, “In the spirit of the campaign, we want to be unmissable during Blind Week, so we need as many people as possible to sign up to help us in their local areas.

“The success of our campaign relies heavily on volunteers, because without their help we just would not achieve as much as we would like to.”

As Jeanette Manson points out, “It’s the goodwill and support of wonderful people like Jessie that create the energy behind the appeal. We have received excellent responses in previous appeals and we’re hoping that this year is no exception.”

The number of volunteers needed in each area is:

Auckland/Northland 3,500 Waikato 1,499 Bay of Plenty 1,200 Hawkes Bay 600 Wellington/Taranaki 2,800 Nelson 600 Canterbury/ West Coast 2,600 Otago/Southland 3,200

People interested in volunteering to be part of this huge effort can phone 0800 002 345 and be connected with their nearest RNZFB regional fundraising manager.

Volunteers can also register on-line at the RNZFB website www.rnzfb.org.nz.

The RNZFB hopes to raise more than $1 million to help provide essential services for more than 12,500 blind and vision-impaired New Zealanders – services that help its members to challenge their sight loss while maintaining their independence.

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