I know it seems like everybody is trying to raise money for something nowadays, but I’m throwing my hat into the ring anyway. Why? Because I want to help support my guide dog's school, Guide Dogs of America (GDA). Unfortunately, since they’re located in Southern California & I'm in the midwest, I live too far away to do any direct volunteer work with them. Plus, I live on a very limited income. Thus, I can't afford to make many out-of-pocket donations to support the organization. However, I am willing to try to support them with fundraising efforts.
I don’t want to just fund-raise randomly though. I have chosen a specific project for GDA in the form of a sponsorship. According to the sponsorship list on their website, the total cost of each team that graduates from GDA is now approximately $42,000. That's A LOT of money, especially when you consider that they give each guide dog to their blind or visually impaired partner, like me, for FREE (and they receive absolutely NO federal, state, or local government funding to help them do this)! While I highly doubt that I alone can raise enough for a team sponsorship ($42,000), or even the full dog sponsorship ($21,000), I'd love to try to raise enough money to sponsor a puppy = $5,000.
Why do I want to sponsor a puppy?
Partly it's because my chocolate boy, my second (current) guide dog, was a sponsored pup. Also, at one time I had hoped to be able to raise an assistance dog puppy as a way to "give back" for the gift of my first guide dog. That project never happened, because I could never get all the logistics worked out. So, I supported her school in other ways. However, if I can’t raise a puppy myself, a puppy sponsorship is the next best option, since this money will go to provide everything a puppy in training needs while living with his or her puppy raiser.
What exactly does the money pay for?
The associated costs can vary for each puppy. Generally though, donations for my puppy sponsorship project will help cover care costs for the pup from whelping to 18 - 20 months of age when the puppy goes back to GDA for formal harness training. This includes the cost of breeding & delivery, medical care (vaccinations, spay/neuter & veterinarian visits) Heartworm preventative, locator microchip, hip & elbow x-rays, dog food, small puppy bib, larger puppy jacket, obedience classes, raiser's puppy kit (which includes all necessary supplies for new puppies – dish, collar, leash, ID tags, puppy raising manual etc.), plus periodic evaluations by the staff of GDA's puppy & training departments. Ultimately, the money will provide equipment & care for a future guide dog puppy who has the potential to help someone the way my guides have helped & continue to help me.
How much should we donate?
However much you want to donate would be great! If, in addition to myself, 99 other people all donated $50 we would easily achieve the sponsorship. However, obviously not everyone can afford to contribute that much, but every little bit will help us reach the goal. GDA is a non-profit (501 c 3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible.
Where/How can we donate?
If you, your group, or business would like to make a donation to my project there are various ways to do so including using this FirstGiving Page.
Unfortunately, FirstGiving does deduct a 7.5% fee to process donations before sending them on to GDA, but that processing fee can be covered by contributors to ensure we recieve the full amount of your donation. So if you are able to, please check the box to cover the fee for processing your donation too. THANK YOU!!!
FirstGiving accepts Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover credit cards for donations worldwide. They also accept U.S. debit cards, but not international debit cards. (All donations made through FirstGiving are billed in U.S. dollars.)
THANK YOU so much to any donors for your contributions to my "Friends of Guide Dog Jack" guide dog puppy sponsorship project! Guide Dogs of America, my guide dog, and I very much appreciate your support.