Have you heard of this wonderful organization located right here in Rochester Hill, Michigan? They call themselves, “Leader Dogs for the Blind” and their belief is everyone should have freedom, independence, and mobility. Their exact mission statement is the following:
Our mission is empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel.
That’s their “why!” From that statement, an amazing array of services were developed which are free of charge to each one of the clients they assist. This even includes travel costs within the U.S. and Canada, plus room and board, training and equipment. So how do they receive the money needed to operate? It is totally philanthropic. This part is pretty touching because the support comes from individual donors, Lions clubs, corporate partners, and foundations. It comes, in other words, from the giving souls who find this organization’s services worthy. I think they are pretty incredible.
So what exactly do they do for their clients? They provide a full-range of services including training the guide dogs, accelerated orientation and mobility training plus a summer experience camp. They meet the mobility needs of all their clients at every stage of their lives. Pretty amazing, huh?
They are located on a small 14-acre farm in Rochester Hills. The farm was acquired back in 1939 for $1 and the assumption of the mortgage. Charles A. Nutting, Donald P. Schuur and S.A. Dodge, members of the Uptown Lions Club of Detroit were the founding members and they were inspired by a fellow member of the Lions Club named, Dr. Glenn Wheeler. Dr. Wheeler had lost his sight and wanted a guide dog. So he was their inspiration.
In the beginning, they did charge each client $150, but that ended in 1958, when they made the service free and which still remain free to this day!
Learn more by visiting their WEBSITE.