Guide Dogs of America Breaks Ground on New Visitor and Education Center

Guide Dogs of America breaks ground on a new 15,900-square-foot education and outreach center in Southern California that will help expand community outreach and build upon GDA services for the blind and visually-impaired.

Guide Dogs of America (GDA) has broken ground on a new 15,900-square-foot education and outreach center in Southern California.

The expansion of GDA’s 7.5-acre campus was made possible by a $3.3 million donation from Phil and Macki Singer, supporters of GDA since 1994.

The new Phil and Macki Singer Visitor and Education Center was designed by award-winning architect Jennifer Luce, founder and principal of Luce et Studio Architects, Inc., and will be built by Interscape Construction, Inc.

The new Phil and Macki Singer Visitor and Education Center will allow GDA to expand its community outreach and build upon its services for blind and visually-impaired men and women across the U.S. and Canada.

Founded in 1948 by Joseph Jones, Sr., a retired IAM member, GDA has graduated more than 3,200 guide dog teams. Video of GDA’s most recent graduation of 10 new guide dogs and their recipients, as well as a moving tribute from one dog recipient to his new guide dog Archie, can be seen here.

GDA services are provided at no charge to guide dog recipients. All donations come from IAM members, IAM local and district events, caring individuals, businesses, foundations, clubs, and organizations as well as through wills and bequests.

The cost to produce a qualified guide dog companion, train the dog and recipient as a team, and provide the follow-up services to ensure safety and effectiveness throughout the team’s working life, is $42,000.

New this month, GDA has added a new way to give – specifically for those who shop on Amazon. The online retailer’s new AmazonSmile program will donate 0.5 percent of all eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. Shop through www.smile.amazon.com and indicate “International Guiding Eyes” as your charity and GDA will receive a portion of your purchase. Please note, you must remember to always shop at www.smile.amazon.com (not www.amazon.com) in order for GDA to receive the funds.

To learn more about Guided Dogs of America, call (818) 362-5834 or visit www.guidedogsofamerica.org.