Guide Dogs Australia has today revealed the best performing fundraising collection dogs, with Coles Mackay in Queensland taking out the honour of having the top fundraising coin Collection Dog in the country. Liverpool won the NSW category.
The iconic plastic dogs might not bark or move, but they have been changing lives one coin at a time for decades now. With the help of shoppers, they collectively raised over $800,000 nationally for Guide Dogs Australia in the last financial year alone.
Guide Dogs Australia says every coin dropped into an in-store collection dog helps the organisation assist someone with low vision, blindness or specialised support needs to live a life without limits.
As well as guide dogs, the charitable organisation also provides a range of services including Adult and Children’s Mobility, Early Childhood Services, Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Access Consulting, Advocacy, Therapy Dogs and more.
Coles’ Top Dogs were awarded with their very own rosette worthy of any best in show, along with visits from Ambassador Dogs and puppies in training to thank customers and team members.
Thanks for support
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ryan Jones thanked Coles and its team members and customers for their support.
‘We’re incredibly grateful that our coin Collection Dogs have found a loving home at Coles. It’s been an amazing journey since we introduced the first Collection Dog at Coles 40 years ago to today, having raised more than $12 million from over 900 dogs across Australia,’ he said.
‘It’s also a truly special feeling to know that people who have been putting a gold coin in the Collection Dogs since the very beginning have now passed on that tradition to their children and grandchildren. I have done the same with my own little one!’
Guide Dogs Client Liz Wheeler said money raised by shoppers is helping her to live a life without limits with the support of Guide Dog Poppi.
‘Poppi has made the ordinary for me not only possible, but extraordinary,’ she said. ‘Nine years ago I lost my vision, my job and the ability to do ordinary things like cross roads or cook. I lost all hope, but then Guide Dogs gave me Poppi.
‘It was hard to be scared to leave my front door when Poppi was so excited to go. With Poppi by my side, I achieved my goal of completing my studies – she graduated along with me and was even presented with her own honorary award!’
Coles General Manager Corporate & Indigenous Affairs Sally Fielke said Coles was proud of its long-standing partnership with Guide Dogs Australia.
‘Coles is extremely proud to have raised over $1 million for Guide Dogs Australia last financial year from Collection Dogs in our stores and the sales of specially marked reusable shopping bags,’ she said.
‘We couldn’t have achieved this milestone without the generosity of our customers who have kept our Collection Dogs well fed and we can’t thank them enough for their ongoing support. Every dollar raised can help to make a huge difference to the life of someone living with low vision, blindness or specialised support needs.’
Coles has been involved with Guide Dogs since the late 1930s, when Lady Margaret Coles became interested in establishing a Guide Dogs Service in Australia. Lady Coles was an animal lover who dedicated her life to helping improve the bond between humans and animals.
Today, the partnership has expanded to include hosting hundreds of the iconic Collection Dogs, selling reusable community bags to raise funds, and customer accessibility initiatives.