Guide Dogs of Texas (GDTX) recently received a $625,000 bequest from a long-time donor, who, according to her will, asked not to be identified. The gift, organization officials say, is the largest private donation that GDTX has received.
“Guide Dogs of Texas is truly grateful for this extraordinary gift,” said Larry Tuttle, GDTX president. “As you may know, we receive no state or federal funding and must rely on donations to remain in operation. Therefore, these reserves allow us to develop sustaining revenues, serve an increasing number of clients, and make much needed improvements to our training center.”
Having monetary reserves in today’s lagging economy, Tuttle said, is important for any nonprofit. “This is a great example of how anyone can impact a nonprofit organization through a bequest, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a large gift,” he said. “There are so many wonderful nonprofits in our community that benefit through donations such as this, especially if they are struggling to find revenue to meet client needs.”
GDTX currently serves 28 clients with on-going client care. Another 14 visually-impaired Texans are on a waiting list. GDTX works with clients who, after being paired with a guide dog, come to the San Antonio-based training center for an intensive, three-week, one-on-one training period with a guide dog mobility instructor before returning home with their service dog.
Regarding the donor, Tuttle said she began making small donations to GDTX about 10 years ago. Throughout the years, she kept abreast of the organization through its newsletters and events. “She always liked our mission and made a decision to support us even after her death,” he said.
Guide Dogs of Texas is the only guide dog school in the state and is one of 11 accredited schools in the nation. It provides guide dogs to visually impaired Texans to enhance their freedom, mobility and independence. For more information, visit www.guidedogsoftexas.org or call (210) 366-4081.