Although much is written about him, it is not well-known that composer G F Handel was also a philanthropist. The first performance of Messiah was a benefit concert held in Dublin, Ireland which raised the funds to release 142 men from debtor’s prison. Messiah received a less enthusiastic reception when Handel brought it back to London until he began to perform Messiah in the chapel of the Foundling Hospital to raise funds for that charity.
In the spirit of Handel’s good intentions, the Harford Choral Society will donate the income from this Year’s Messiah Sing-along to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization that provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. The organization is supported by staff and more than 1700 volunteers who are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with vision-challenged individuals for greater independence. The organization has placed approximately 100 dogs annually and has graduated more than 10,000 guide dog teams.
Guiding Eyes is more than just a guide dog organization...it has a common purpose: to help individuals who are blind or with vision loss define their own future with our exceptional guide dogs at their side...thus increasing their ability to confidently and safely move through the world with increased confidence and mobility better enabling them to independently engage in school, work and communities. An added benefit is that they gain the constant companionship of a loyal friend.
All services are completely free of charge to people who are blind or have vision loss. Typically, annual costs to train and care for a guide dog throughout its working lifetime with a person who is blind can total $50,000. Relying on donor contributions, Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency honoree, a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated, and a four-star Charity Navigator Nonprofit.