Three “Great Danes” lead the way in volunteering

THEY say good things come in threes and when it comes to Hobart’s Dane family, this couldn’t be truer.

Sara Dane, along with her parents Mary and Peter, all volunteer at Guide Dogs Tasmania – a charity that is very close to their hearts.

“We have a family member who had a Guide Dog and we saw how much of an improvement it made to their life,” Sara said.

“I was looking for something to do that would keep me busy, but also allow me to give back to the community.

“So, when the opportunity came up to volunteer at Guide Dogs Tasmania, it seemed perfect.”

Sara started volunteering at Guide Dogs Tasmania in 2012 and was soon followed by her parents.

All three Danes now help out in Guide Dogs Tasmania’s Collection Dog Program and each play their own part in ensuring that it continues to bring in much needed funds to train Guide Dogs in the state.

Costing more than $35,000 to raise and train each dog, the Danes are well aware of what their contribution to the organisation means.

“It’s a lovely place to volunteer and great to know that what I’m doing is helping,” Mary said.

“When I see what I’ve contributed to the organisation, it makes me feel really proud.”

While Sara and Mary clean, paint and prepare the iconic Collection Dogs each week – which are placed in more than 1000 locations across southern Tasmania – Peter hits the road each Monday with a fellow volunteer, collecting and replacing up to 40 mini dogs in a different area each time.

“I enjoy travelling around the state to places I might not otherwise go and interacting with people that support the organisation,” Peter said.

“Ultimately, it’s a way for me to help raise funds for a charity that makes a huge difference to people’s lives.”

The Danes also help out at Guide Dogs Tasmania events and pop-up shops when they can.

“By talking with people and spreading the word about how Guide Dogs change people’s lives, we hope to encourage more people to donate or even sign up to volunteer,” Mary said.

Since 2013, Guide Dogs Australia has received the title of Most Trusted Charity Brand as part of the annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey.

Owned and operated by VisAbility, Guide Dogs Tasmania is the only organisation raising and training Guide Dogs in the state and relies on donations to continue doing this life-changing work.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Guide Dogs Tasmania, phone 1800 484 333 or visit guidedogstas.com.au/how-to-help-us/volunteer.