Guiding Eyes Invites Westchester Residents to Change a Life This Holiday Season

Guiding Eyes for the Blind, known around the globe as one of the foremost guide dog schools, is kicking off the holiday season with an invitation to those in Westchester and beyond to get involved in the non-profit’s mission to transform lives. A number of special opportunities for philanthropy and volunteerism are available, from raising a future guide dog puppy or sponsoring a graduating ceremony to holiday tribute gift cards honoring family, friends and beloved pets.

For someone without sight, a Guiding Eyes dog is a priceless gift providing independence, companionship, and mobility. The nonprofit provides guide dogs, professional training and veterinary services for men and women who are blind or visually impaired at no cost, relying solely on contributions to fulfill its mission. Additionally, Guiding Eyes’ dogs who do not become guide dogs may also be specially trained as service dogs to help children on the autism spectrum.

Betsy Bradley was matched with her first Guiding Eyes dog, a yellow Labrador named Token, one year ago. The pair celebrated their first Thanksgiving together in training at Guiding Eyes last year. Now, with Token’s assistance, Bradley can once again navigate the world on her own. “Through the roller coaster ride of losing my vision, it was my Guiding Eyes dog that showed me I could continue to live an active life," she said. “Token is gentle, kind and eager to work. I feel completely safe with everything we do together.”

Behind Guiding Eyes’ incredible dogs are thousands of people who make the organization’s life-changing work possible.

Guiding Eyes’ vast network of volunteers span twelve states throughout the Northeast. Volunteers are key to raising, training, and socializing the non-profit’s future guide dogs as well as supporting its operations in Yorktown Heights and Patterson, NY. Puppy raisers welcome 8 week-old puppies into their homes with full support from Guiding Eyes, including training classes and free vet care, for a 14 to 16 month period before sending them off to their calling as a guide dog.

The organization also offers a number of unique donation opportunities, such as sponsoring a graduation ceremony or naming a future guide dog puppy. New partnerships with Amazon Smile, eBay and Goodsearch allow shoppers to contribute to Guiding Eyes through their holiday purchases. Supporters are also invited to honor the special people or pets in their life with a holiday tribute gift card, available with a donation of $25 or more, or to help further Guiding Eyes’ mission with their own in-kind gift of goods, services or expertise.

“Guiding Eyes dogs make a profound difference in people’s lives; our mission is only possible due to the generous support of our donors and volunteers,” said Michelle Brier, Guiding Eyes’ Director of Marketing and Communications. “Any gift will make a meaningful difference for a person who is blind or visually impaired or a family with a child with autism.”

A $10 donation provides a treat pouch for a guide dog instructor. For $25, Guiding Eyes is able to get a new pair of booties to protect a future guide dog’s sensitive paws while trekking through the snow. Supporters can feed a guide dog in training for two weeks with a $50 donation or, for $100, provide a new harness for their important work.

To learn more about Guiding Eyes’ volunteer opportunities or to make a donation online, visit www.guidingeyes.org. Cell phone users may text the word “GUIDE” to phone number 80888 to donate $10 to further Guiding Eyes’ programs and services.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is located at 611 Granite Springs Road in Yorktown Heights, NY. They can be reached at 914.245.4024 or by visiting www.guidingeyes.org. For the latest news, please visit Guiding Eyes on Facebook (www.facebook.com/guidingeyes) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/guidingeyes).

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing superbly bred and trained guide dogs. Since its inception, the organization has grown to be one of the foremost guide dog schools in the world, known for its accredited training programs and lifetime commitment to its graduating teams. Dogs not suited for guide work may become service dogs for children on the autism spectrum. Guiding Eyes is dependent upon contributions to fulfill its mission and provides all services free of charge to individuals who are blind or visually impaired as well as to families with children with autism. The organization’s Headquarters and Training Center is located in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and its canine breeding center is in Patterson, N.Y. For more info, visit www.guidingeyes.org, like Guiding Eyes on Facebook (www.facebook.com/guidingeyes) or follow @guidingeyes on Twitter.