The NZ Red Puppy Appeal has a real need for public support. And it is now greater than ever following the Christchurch earthquake.
This year’s Red Puppy Appeal is set to be sweeter than ever with the launch of Red Puppy Bikkie Day on Friday 1 April.
And the need has never been greater, with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) providing urgent and ongoing support to over 1,200 blind, deafblind and partially sighted members affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
“We are currently focusing a significant amount of time, resources and money to help our members and guide dogs affected in the Canterbury region,” says Sandra Budd, RNZFB Chief Executive.
“We have over 1,200 members in the area, including 40 guide dogs owners, some of whose dogs will need retraining as their usual routes and routines have changed dramatically.”
The 2011 Red Puppy Appeal, which is supported by the Prime Minister’s wife Bronagh Key, will run from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 April 2011, with Red Puppy Bikkie Day launching on the Friday 1 April. People can download materials and information from www.redpuppy.org.nz.
“We’re launching Red Puppy Bikkie Day this year to encourage individuals, schools and businesses to ‘bake’ a difference for our appeal,” says Ms Budd. “We’re inviting people to bake puppy-shaped biscuits and sell them for a donation to friends, family and colleagues.”
The funds raised by the Red Puppy Appeal will help the RNZFB continue its essential support work in Canterbury, as well as throughout the country.
Ms Budd says staff are working tirelessly to support the RNZFB’s members in the region, with specialist assistance needed to help working guide dogs and their owners.
“Extra staff members have flown into Christchurch – where they are camping in our local office – and visiting members to attend to urgent issues and to help plan for their orientation and mobility needs.
“The RNZFB receives no Government funding for Guide Dog Services so every dollar collected during the appeal counts and we hope that Red Puppy Bikkie Day will encourage people to support us,” says Ms Budd.
With the help of a RNZFB guide dog, those with little or no sight have greater freedom, confidence and independence. To become a RNZFB guide dog, puppies train for two years, pass 55 different tests and walk many thousands of steps.
During the appeal look out for RNZFB volunteers in bright red vests in your local area holding RNZFB collection buckets.
Go to http://www.redpuppy.org.nz/ to volunteer for the street appeal, register to hold a Red Puppy Bikkie Day event, or to make a donation.