Why Support Leader Dog?
The loss of sight can make people feel cut off from life.
Your gift today can help reopen someone's world.
Our programs are free. We believe everyone should have the same opportunity for travel independence, regardless of their ability to pay. Leader Dog covers the cost for all training, room and board, equipment, and travel to and from our campus in Michigan.
Clients who may not be served elsewhere come to Leader Dog for personalized training. Unlike other organizations, Leader Dog has no upper age limit and accommodates clients with multiple disabilities or health challenges.
Our spending reflects our dedication to the people we serve, with 77% of our expenses going to programs and services. This is just part of why we receive Charity Navigator's highest rating of 4 stars, which is reserved for nonprofits that exceed industry standards and outperform for their cause.
Leader Dog is also a GuideStar Exchange Platinum Participant. To obtain Platinum level, organizations must go beyond simply providing financial information and complete a Charting Impact report that includes the goals, strategies, capabilities and progress of the organization.
We offer more than guide dogs. We developed a first-of-its-kind, award-winning accelerated white cane training program for clients who need more orientation and mobility skills before getting a guide dog.
To ease the stress of navigating new areas, we added GPS technology training to our guide dog program, complete with a free GPS device designed specifically for people who are blind.
We hold a summer camp for teens that gives them the opportunity to meet peers with similar challenges. Campers kayak, rock wall climb and tandem bike, receive a free GPS device with instruction, and spend time with Leader Dogs.
“It is now more crucial than ever that I have a guide dog because I now have hearing loss in my right ear. Libby will help because I don’t always hear cars. So, her helping me with traffic is huge to me. [My Leader Dogs] have made it possible for me to go to work and put food on the table for my wife and daughter.”
William Herzler and his 4th Leader Dog, Liberty
Each Leader Dog gives 3,000+ days of independence. This is not only travel independence for the client. It's independence from worry for the client’s family and friends and freedom from the misconception that people who are blind aren't capable for employers and co-workers.
Blindness can be a huge obstacle to working, socializing, feeling confident, traveling alone and other daily activities that many people take for granted. The day a Leader Dog and client meet is the start of a life-changing journey toward a more productive and fulfilling life.
Raven is a college student working toward the goals of studying abroad and becoming an English teacher. “I found it much easier to navigate with Dana than with a cane because I don’t have to worry about my safety as much. I don’t have to worry about going into streets where there are cars or obstacles because Dana takes care of that.”
Raven Wilson and her 1st Leader Dog, Dana