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Still needed - an army of volunteers to stand out!

5 October 2004

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Media Release

Still needed - an army of volunteers to stand out!

It is not too late to put on a silly orange hat and stand out for a good cause later this month on behalf of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB).

Blind Week is the Foundation’s main fundraising appeal and includes as its slogan, “We can’t afford for you not to see us!” The income from the appeal makes up a significant part of approximately $15 million it has to find each year in donations.

“Our aim is to get 13,000 well-organised, energetic volunteers nationwide to help raise over $1 million,” says Peter Taylor, RNZFB National Appeals Advisor.

“We need people who are willing to contribute just 2-3 hours to knock on the doors of households and collect donations, to collect at local shopping centres and supermarkets and on the street, or to help with office and administration work - all essential tasks in every appeal. We can be flexible to meet whatever time most people have available. We just need the people!”

The Blind Week appeal runs from Tuesday 26 October to Monday 1 November, raising money to provide essential services for 11,500 blind, deafblind and vision-impaired people - services that enable Foundation members to challenge their sight loss and maintain their independence.

Mr Taylor says a successful appeal depends on the goodwill and support from volunteers. “These dedicated, unpaid workers are the key people in a huge operation like a national appeal,” he says.

“Without enough volunteers at the ground level to collect we would not be able to meet our target of $1 million. Reaching this target will ensure the Foundation is able to continue providing essential services to blind, deafblind and vision-impaired New Zealanders – every volunteer and every donation makes a difference.”

Volunteer regional breakdowns so far: Auckland / Northland need another 2,000 volunteers Waikato/ King Country need another 1,500 volunteers Bay of Plenty need another 1,000 volunteers Hawke’s Bay needs another 400 volunteers Wellington region need another 2,450 volunteers Nelson / Marlborough need another 350 volunteers Canterbury / West Coast need another 2,500 volunteers Otago / Southland need another 3,000 volunteers

It is easy to volunteer. Visit www.rnzfb.org.nz or call 0800 002 345 and you will be connected with your regional Foundation office who will advise how you and your friends can get involved in Blind Week 2004.

Please don’t forget to give generously if you see a Blind Week collector on the street, in your shopping centre or at your door.

RNZFB is New Zealand’s primary service provider for blind, vision-impaired and deafblind people. Every year nearly 1,500 New Zealanders either go blind or experience serious sight loss.

ENDS

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