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‘Tis the Season: Warm Hearts Meet Wet Noses

Thursday December 07, 2023

Mary-Ann kneels on a path by the Bay between a yellow Lab and a black Lab

Some partnerships are just meant to be. Like the partnerships Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has with our volunteers and donors who make our mission possible. GDB receives no government funding. We rely on the generosity of our donors to help fund our mission. And with a staff of just 300 employees, volunteers are integral to our organization’s success.

We’re grateful for everyone’s support and wanted to highlight a few of our volunteers and donors who share why they give of their time, money, talents, and hearts.


“I support GDB because their programs change lives. The bond between a person and their guide dog is like no other. Watching a guide dog team in action is a learning experience. A sight to behold.” – Mildred Murray, Donor, and Legacy Society member

“Volunteering at GDB is an extraordinary experience! I assist with data entry in the Veterinary Financial Assistance Program, and I am a neonatal puppy and brood socializer. I am valued and appreciated by the staff and feel privileged to work with such dedicated and talented people who exemplify the mission and vision of the organization.” - Alison Winder, Campus Volunteer

“I wouldn’t donate to another place other than Guide Dogs for the Blind. My wife Judy is a guide dog user and GDB has given her the independence and life she deserves.” – Robert Kucherepa, donor, and Legacy Society Member

“I have been a volunteer puppy sitter for three years. I’ve learned dog training techniques and met wonderful raisers and clients. This year I am co-raising my first puppy, a fluffy Golden Retriever/Lab cross. It’s so fulfilling to help her grow into a well-behaved, confident dog. I hope she will go on to change someone's life!” – Alexandra Fally, Puppy Raising Volunteer 

“After seeing the movie ‘Pick of the Litter’ featuring Guide Dogs for the Blind, I knew I wanted to give. GDB is a great organization that is changing clients’ lives.” - Robert W. Wood, Donor

“I volunteer at GDB because of their tireless efforts to enrich lives and enhance confidence in all. Little did I know how full my heart would be in giving my time to support and further their kind and compassionate mission. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing community.” – Katie Lucey, Campus Volunteer

“I named GDB as a beneficiary in my 401 (k), and twelve charitable gift annuities. I am happy that my gifts will make GDB’s programs available for future generations of guide dog users.” – Cindy Compton, Donor, and Legacy Society Member

“I love that GDB always goes the extra mile for their dogs. When our breeder dog Niobe was pregnant and had inflammation in her eyes, traditional treatments were limited due to her pregnancy. They sent an eastern medicine specialist to come to our house for several weeks to give Niobe acupuncture treatments to increase her comfort. I think that’s an impressive commitment to Niobe!” – Pam Passaretti, Breeder Custodian Volunteer

“We’re proud to invest in GDB’s mission and its many programs for children and its many programs for children and teens. They’re literally life-changing for youth and their families and that has a ripple effect in our communities.” – Delores Barr Weaver Family Endowment Fund, Donors

"I learned that I can be a foster care volunteer, even though I do fall in love every single time! There is immense satisfaction in helping these dogs enjoy their stay with me for whatever reason, and I’m pretty sure that I end up benefiting the most from this deal.” – Mary Ann Sorich, Foster Volunteer

“The love and care that goes into every GDB puppy and program dog is so evident. I’m excited to help grow GDB’s mission to serve more clients and to serve them more broadly.” – Deborah Neff, Donor, GDB Board Member, and Legacy Society Member

“Raising a guide dog puppy is a gift of love that keeps on giving! You get to train an amazing puppy that gives you so much joy and meet supportive friends in your puppy club while giving back to others.” – Liz di Carpegna, Puppy Raising Volunteer

“Our puppy club is a community of likeminded raisers. Not only do we bond with our puppies, but we also bond with each other. It is a privilege to work with an amazing group of volunteers, passing along skills that I’ve learned from GDB leader training, and watching the accomplishments of both the puppies and the raisers.” – Sharon Casey, Puppy Club Leader

“We believe that every GDB dog deserves to have the best medical care possible. Funding a new veterinary position to help carry out the organization’s commitment to the health and wellness of its dogs made sense.” - Travers Family Foundation, Donors

“It's an honor to assist GDB in its mission by providing campus tours to a diverse population including school classes, senior groups, potential clients, and visitors throughout the US and other nations. GDB maintains the highest standards in everything they do. A lot goes into raising a guide dog and I’m in awe of how GDB’s community of staff, volunteers, and donors make it all happen.” - Richard Strauss, Volunteer Docent

With so many critical volunteer roles at GDB, there might be a role for you! 


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Categories: Donor Profile, GDB Community, GDB Volunteers