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Turning Scents into Cents: Maxol launches charity initiative for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Posted on: 08 Jul 2024

Maxol has today launched a fundraising campaign inviting the public to turn scents into cents to raise funds for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. With each guide and assistance dog costing €53,000 during its training and working lifetime, Maxol’s PAWsome Fresheners will raise funds through the sale of puppy shaped car air fresheners. Maxol Group CEO, Brian Donaldson said that his appreciation for the life-changing impact of guide dogs deepened after meeting with a guide dog user. He saw first-hand how these highly trained and intuitive dogs provide not only confidence but also independence to individuals.


“We wanted to create something unique to catch our customers’ attention and also educate them on the journey a puppy takes to become a guide dog,” said Brian Donaldson. “With this new initiative, we’re encouraging customers to purchase either a golden or a black Labrador car air freshener, or both, with all proceeds going directly to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.” PAWsome car air freshers are priced at €3.


The limited edition PAWsome Fresheners are designed not only to keep a vehicle smelling fresh but more importantly, to make a positive impact on the lives of those who are visually impaired as well as families of children with autism. It takes two years to train a guide or assistance dog and people can learn more about each phase of a puppy’s training journey by scanning a QR code on the PAWsome Fresheners.


Maxol, which is Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer has committed to funding the training of at least six guide and assistance dogs over the next two years and wants to continue to raise awareness and drive support for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. “These highly trained and intuitive dogs provide not only confidence but also safety and social benefits to individuals. I’ve seen firsthand the incredible support they offer,” said Brian Donaldson. “And while there are more than 360 guide and assistance dogs in Ireland, the demand is ever-present.”


Many visually impaired individuals face isolation and challenges in everyday activities, such as shopping, working, and socialising. Guide dogs provide a vital lifeline, offering safety, mobility, and independence. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind also provides invaluable support for families of children with autism, a part of the charity’s service that is not as widely known. For children with autism, assistance dogs serve as a calming presence, aiding in behaviour regulation and enhancing social skills and confidence.


Tim O’Mahony, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: “Proceeds from sales of PAWsome Fresheners will significantly enhance our ability to provide more guide and assistance dogs. This initiative not only helps us to offer greater independence and mobility for our clients and their families but also creates more supportive and inclusive communities.”


Maxol plans to leverage its network of 244 service stations across Ireland, rallying community support to raise much-needed funds. The goal is to make a difference in the lives of those served by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs Northern Ireland.


Available in local Maxol stores from the beginning of July, all proceeds from the PAWsome Fresheners will go to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and in Northern Ireland, Guide Dogs Northern Ireland. For more information visit www.maxol.ie and www.guidedogs.ie