Guide Dogs of the Desert, a nonprofit that provides guide dogs and training to the legally blind, has received a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, it was announced Monday.

The Coachella Valley Spotlight Grant was awarded to the organization at a time when traditional training practices need to be shifted to in-home arraignments.

Founded in 1972, the Guide Dogs of the Desert breeds, raises, trains and pairs dogs with legally blind clients at no cost. The organization also provides a 28-day training program for its clients so they can get use to life with their new companions.

Since March 2020, Guide Dogs of the Desert could no longer conduct training with their clients on its White Water campus because of coronavirus concerns. Previously, students got matched with a guide dog and went through a 28-day in-residence training program.

The grant will help the organization conduct more in-home training until the campus can fully reopen.

“It is generous support, like this of the Berger Foundation, which allows us to provide guide dogs and their training at no cost to legally blind and visually impaired individuals for mobility, companionship and independence,” said Jonathan Lorenzo Yorba, Executive Director of Guide Dogs of the Desert.

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