Clarke Gayford is one of more than 2300 volunteers who have signed up around the country to collect for this week’s Red Puppy Appeal on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 March.
Collecting in Point Chevalier, Clarke is supporting the Blind Foundation to raise vital funds for the breeding and training of guide dogs.
Blind Foundation guide dogs offer freedom and independence by acting as the eyes for those in our communities who are blind or have low vision.
Clarke told Woman’s Day magazine, “I grew up with Labs so it was a no-brainer when signing up to be a Blind Foundation collector - it’s such a good cause.”
Blind Foundation’s Chief Executive Sandra Budd explains that the costs of breeding and training a guide dog are fully funded by public donations and sponsorships.
“The Red Puppy Appeal is an important time of year for us, and I am always humbled by the generosity of the public who give their time and money to ensure we can continue to provide the life-changing guide dog service which means so much to our community,” says Budd.
After two years of specialist training, and support from volunteer puppy walkers, guide dogs go on to help someone who is blind perform day-to-day tasks like travelling to and from work, going to the shops, and using public transport.
Pupstar Harris (the cute black lab below) is one of the guide dogs in training who spends his time with a volunteer puppy walker. As part of his training, he enjoys regular walks around the park and lake. You can follow Harris’s journey by using the hashtag #PupstarHarris on Facebook.
To support the Blind Foundation, look out for the Blind Foundation street collectors on March 23-24. You can also donate at redpuppy.org.nz.
For images, interviews, or to volunteer, please contact: Hayley Burrows at Lassoo Media | PR Hayley@lassoo.co.nz or 09 370 0420