Raise Your Paws To Help Raise The Next Generation Of NZ Guide Dogs
Are you one of New Zealand’s next group of puppy loving volunteers?
Put your best paw forward! The search is on to find this year’s pack of puppy loving volunteers to hit the streets and collect money for the Blind Low Vision NZ (formerly Blind Foundation) Red Puppy Appeal street collection.
On Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March, the collection will raise funds to train and care for a new generation of much needed guide dogs.
Every day, an average of six people turn to Blind Low Vision NZ for support with their sight loss. Guide dogs help people who are blind, deafblind, or have low vision retain their independence and move through life safely and confidently.
Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs breeds and trains about 100 puppies each year, and it takes nearly two years, and more than $50,000 to raise and train just one guide dog.
Blind Low Vision NZ runs the country’s only guide dog breeding and training facility that is 100% funded through the generosity and support of Kiwis.
“As Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs is not government funded we are extremely grateful to everyone who supports our Red Puppy Appeal. Guide dogs play a life-changing role for people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, and I want to also acknowledge all the volunteers who help us train guide dogs for people who really need them,” says Blind Low Vision NZ Chief Executive John Mulka.
With a street collection goal of $300,000 this year, Blind Low Vision NZ needs 2000 volunteer collectors to join the pack.
Wellingtonian, Bill Wilson, has been a long-time volunteer for the Red Puppy Appeal after seeing how the charity impacted his mother’s life.
“My mother was blind and Blind Low Vision NZ gave her a lot of support and it’s what motivates me to volunteer and help others in a similar position.”
His time volunteering has seen him step up to be the Wellington Area Coordinator.
Alongside Bill, Tauranga local Luci Carter knows first-hand, how vital the collection is for the future of guide dogs. She’s raised 15 guide dog puppies in her 21 years as a volunteer puppy raiser.
“I got involved with Red Puppy Appeal because of the dogs and also because I just wanted to be useful and it’s such a good cause.
“Each dog plays such an important role in people’s lives and that’s reflected in the hard work that goes into making sure the dogs are up to it.”
You’ll see Luci collecting in Tauranga during the appeal and she is encouraging of others to join her, “it’s a great way to get out of the house to do something a bit different”.
Highly valued for the positive and liberating change they bring to a person’s life, guide dogs perform an essential role in the life of a blind, deafblind or low vision person. Tasked with making what could potentially be life or death decisions on behalf of their person, guide dogs have to learn incredibly challenging and sophisticated skills.
Please join us for a couple of hours to help support the next generation of guide dogs, register online today at redpuppy.org.nz or call 0800 787 743 (0800 PUPPIES).