There are lots of ways that you can get involved and fundraise – check out our list of fun ideas.
Meet some inspirational fundraisers
Run for Guide Dogs like Mike!
Showing that age is no barrier, Mike Thomas, who is 8o years old, will be hitting the pavement once again this year to raise funds for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in the City2Surf.
In preparation for the 14 kilometre track, Mike has been training around his Retirement Village in Belrose.
"I've been doing some resistance training in the pool and going for long walks. I even joined a gym a couple of weeks ago," Mike said.
Mike is no stranger to marathons, having competed in the UK, however this will be his second time participating in Sydney's iconic annual running event.
"I've competed in the London Marathon three times before, but the last time I did that was back in 2000," Mike said.
"I am 80 years old now, so I might be crawling on all fours to the finish line, but I like a challenge," he laughed.
So far, the Belrose resident has raised $1,500 for the organisation, which receives less than three per cent of its funding needs from the government.
"My goal was $1,500, so I'm very happy with what we've got already, having only started a few weeks ago," Mike said. “I’m doing so well I might have to increase my target.”
"When my wife and I lived in England we raised funds for Guide Dogs. It's an organisation very close to our hearts, so this is an opportunity for us to continue supporting a great cause."
In conjunction with running, Mike is rallying the troops in the Belrose Retirement Village where he lives with his wife, organising for a Public Relations Speaker to talk about their personal experience with vision loss, coinciding with a series of fundraising activities.
It takes more than two years and costs more than $35,000 to breed, raise and train one Guide Dog.
In 2018 we are hoping to raise enough money to train a Guide Dog, so if you were reading this thinking you were “too old” or “too unfit” to participate in a running event, you need look no further than Mike for inspiration.
Get your school involved like Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC)
PLC Sydney has been actively fundraising for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT since 1962 and raised over $500,000 – what an achievement!
In recent years, they set up their Annual Pet Show which has seen the donations continue to grow – in 2014 they raised a total $14,000. This annual event also forms part of the school's service learning program for Year 9 students. The program helps the girls learn about the challenges that a person who is vision impaired faces and encourages them to raise more funds to support these people.
“The students run the entire event themselves, from cold-calling businesses for donations to organising stalls, competitions and entertainment. It's a wonderful learning experience for the girls, and reflects the College's emphasis on providing practical service to others," Pet Show Student Organising Committee Coordinator, Mrs Knapman said.
Take on a challenge like Daniel
Daniel is a Guide Dog Handler whose partnership and continued independence with Guide Dog Frodo inspired him to take on a challenge – participating in a 500km bike ride from Bathurst to Wodonga!
At the age of 16, Daniel developed a rare eye condition, Leber’s Optic Atrophy, which left him legally blind. While he has some peripheral vision, he cannot make out faces and the world he sees is a blur.
Despite his vision loss, Daniel continues to enjoy his sporting talent and adventurous streak. Now a qualified Physiotherapist, Daniel manages a busy schedule attending to clients with sports injuries, chronic pain, workplace injuries and disability.
In early 2017, Daniel’s employer Flexout Physiotherapy was approached by client (and Guide Dogs Australia Partner) Mars Petcare to help celebrate their 50th Anniversary by riding 500km from their Bathurst plant to their Wodonga plant. As an avid tandem bike rider, Daniel jumped at the chance to get involved.
"I am incredibly grateful to be part of a supportive workplace and to work with a fantastic group like Mars that understands the role Guide Dogs play in helping people like myself to live full, independent lives,” Daniel said.
“I know how helpful Guide Dogs have been to me, so I welcomed the opportunity to give back and help them continue to provide services at no cost to anyone who needs them."
While Daniel didn’t ride the full 500km, he and Flexout Physiotherapy were an integral part of the Mars team who collectively raised over $13,000 to help others living with sight loss enjoy the freedom and independence that Daniel enjoys.
More information about community fundraising
If you are interested in supporting Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in your fundraising event, please get in touch with our Community Fundraising team on (02) 9412 9300 weekdays 9 am to 5 pm or email fundraising [at] guidedogs.com.au