Maxol, Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, announced the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs NI as its newly appointed charity partners. Maxol will leverage its all-Ireland retailer network of more than 240 Maxol service stations to raise funds for these organizations.
Over the course of the two-year partnership, Maxol aims to support the charities by increasing the awareness and impact of their important work. The company has also committed to funding the training of at least six assistance dogs. In total, it costs approximately €53,000/£50,000/$61,000 to breed, train and care for each of these dogs over the course of their working lives.
Guide dogs offer a lifeline to the blind and visually impaired, empowering them to do things such as shopping, attending college or work, traveling and having a social life, where without the dog it might not be possible.
Additionally, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind also supports children with autism and their families. These dogs are trained specifically to work with children with autism by acting as a calming presence, helping with behavior regulation and improving social skills and confidence.
Tim O’Mahony, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said, “We are delighted to be chosen as Maxol’s charity partner. Their support will have a huge impact; ensuring that we can deliver more guide dogs and assistance dogs over the next two years—essentially bringing independence and mobility to the lives of our clients and many families.”
“With so many charities in need of urgent funding, selecting just one cause to which we will commit our resources is hugely challenging,” said Brian Donaldson, CEO of the Maxol Group. “But when we looked not only at the work of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs NI but also the positive and tangible impact the charities can have on so many people’s lives—children, adults and their families—we saw a really compelling case.”
Donaldson added, “With a strong and widespread community presence, much like our own business, we are looking forward to getting behind their work, with the support of our retailer network, and ensuring Maxol makes a difference.”
Tennessee-based Weigel’s is also changing lives as a sustaining partner of Smoky Mountain Service Dogs (SMSD), whose mission is to enhance the physical and psychological quality of life for wounded veterans and their families with a mobility assistance service dog.
Army Sgt. First Class (ret.) Chuck Stewart’s wife encouraged him to reach out to SMSD after stopping at a Weigel’s store she had never been to before. While filling up, she saw a pump topper for an SMSD fundraising campaign. That fateful day led to Chuck being paired with his mobility assistance dog, Sadie. “I never thought filling up a tank of gas would change my life,” he said.