“The CNIB Foundation has helped my son, Ethan, in many ways since losing his vision in 2017, but most recently and the most impactful, was his receipt of his guide dog, Pepper. This has been absolutely life changing for him,” said Jennifer Britain. “After researching many guide dog schools, the CNIB Guide Dog Program was superior in so many ways. Their motto is to provide guide dogs to anyone who needs them, and they make sure that cost will never be a factor. The program provided the dog to my son at no cost, with a full ongoing training program that will last the entirety of his relationship with the dog. They provide food, cover vet bills, and offer support every step of the way. No one else does it the way they do.
Jennifer, a member of the support staff at EXIT Realty Matrix, Brokerage in Ottawa, wanted to help the organization that helped her son, so she put on her running shoes to raise money. The fundraiser asked that participants complete a 5k walk/run/crawl at a location of their choice and raise funds online with all proceeds going to the CNIB Foundation. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind Foundation is a nonprofit that provides innovative programs to those impacted by blindness to help them lead a life they can not only manage but be proud of.
What needs may be addressed with this fundraiser? According to Jennifer, “The demand for Canadian guide dogs has risen 375% since the pandemic, especially due to the travel restrictions that were created. The CNIB Foundation is looking to raise funds in various ways to meet the need of 150 dogs. The cost of a guide dog ranges between $30,000 and $50,000. This may seem drastic, but the breeding, training, care and intelligence of these animals is second to none. I have been so fortunate to witness firsthand the powerful impact this program has had on my son and cannot express how much I know it will be the same for so many others.”
Jennifer had a fundraising page on the CNIB Foundation’s Pup Crawl website under “Team Pepper” in honour of Ethan’s guide dog. They were able to promote the page on social media as well as by posting flyers in the local community.
A portion of every transaction fee received by EXIT Realty Corp. International is applied to its charitable fund. Through the Spirit of EXIT Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program, EXIT offices and associates can raise money for local, approved, registered charities and apply to EXIT’s head office to have those funds matched from the company’s pool of funds. Jennifer hoped to raise $2,500 which EXIT’s head office was proud to match, however including this match amount, the total donation to the CNIB Foundation was a whopping $8,665.
“Your contribution will help us raise, train, and match guide dogs for Canadians with sight loss waiting for the life-changing gifts of freedom, mobility and independence. Thank you for your generosity,” said Danusha Fernando, Manager of Donor Data and Analytics for the CNIB Foundation.