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Will you shake a bucket for Blind Week with George?

22 August 2012

Will you shake a bucket for Blind Week with George?

This Blind Week, 91-year-old George Phiske is urging Kiwis to join him and hundreds of others on the streets to collect vital funds for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB).

Running from 23-29 October, Blind Week is one of the RNZFB’s main opportunities to generate significant awareness and support for its cause.

George is a life-long RNZFB member and has fundraised for the RNZFB since 1950. Each year he gets together with his local community group to organise the street collection in his area, and in the past he’s walked the streets with his guide dog to personally thank people for their generosity.

“I’ve been a farmer, furniture maker and my wife and I adopted three children too. People may be surprised that I can’t see!

“The help I’ve had from the RNZFB, my family and friends, has helped me live a fantastic life. So collecting is just one way I enjoy giving back,” George says.

RNZFB Chief Executive Sandra Budd says volunteers across the country are needed to organise a local street appeal or sign up to collect.

“Funds raised from Blind Week will help the RNZFB continue to provide its members with the training, tools and tips they need to deal with their sight loss and lead independent lives. It costs $28million a year to deliver services and since only one-third of this comes from Government, we rely heavily on the generosity of the public. So the more collectors we have on the streets, the better!” Sandra says.

To register as a RNZFB street appeal coordinator or collector, phone 0800 120 254 or sign up online at www.blindweek.org.nz

About the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind

The RNZFB is New Zealand’s main provider of sight loss services.

The RNZFB has 11,500 members and every day an average of three blind or partially sighted Kiwis register for membership.

Over half of the RNZFB membership is over the age of 80 with the most common eye condition being age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Approximately one in seven adults over 50 are affected by AMD and with an aging population this figure is set to increase.

ENDS

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