MIRA – The only organization in the United States dedicated to providing guide dogs to eligible blind children between the ages of 11-17.
Our mission is to offer eligible blind children in the United States between the ages of 11-17 the opportunity to receive guide dogs free of charge, to provide targeted educational outreach, to promote public awareness, and, as we continue to grow, to offer support services to the adult population of blind people and their families.
MIRA Foundation USA was founded in 2009 by Robert and Elaine Baillie, and Guy Bouvier, following Bob’s total vision loss due to complications from heart by-pass surgery. As one would expect, Bob recalls thinking his life was over at age sixty-four. He found efforts with a cane extraordinarily difficult and inadequate. At the suggestion of his close friend, Guy, Bob began to investigate the option of obtaining a guide dog. This led him to MIRA Canada, a decision that would change his life and the lives of others.
MIRA Canada is a globally respected non-profit organization that trains guide dogs and the individuals who will partner with these magnificent canines. Attending the intensive 30-day training program, Bob discovered the effectiveness of MIRA Canada’s approach, and learned how much his guide dog offered him “a new leash on life.” Given the profound impact of his newly found freedom and self-reliance, Bob was surprised to learn that guide dogs were unavailable to anyone under the age of seventeen in the United States. MIRA Canada was the only program in the world that paired guide dogs with children age 11-17. That was until MIRA USA was founded.
The MIRA Foundation USA and its Board of Directors, are committed to the idea that no one should have to wait to maximize their independence and opportunities in life if they qualify for a guide dog. Forming an official partnership between MIRA Canada and MIRA USA, legally separate entities, enables us to work together to expand guide dog services for children here in the United States.
MIRA Foundation USA strives to offer young children a major type of support by providing trained MIRA guide dogs free of charge to eligible youngsters, at an age when self-assurance and mobility are particularly important if the young students are to integrate successfully into the world at large.
The name of our foundation, MIRA, comes from the Spanish word, “to look.” It is the name Eric St. Pierre, the Founder of MIRA Canada gave to his foundation and as our partner organization, we have been given the right to use MIRA Foundation USA, Inc. as our official name.
MIRA FOUNDATION USA, INC. is a 501C(3) corporation, tax id# 26-3603779, and donations are tax deductible.