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When life gives you lemons, this family makes lemonade…for guide dogs

While most people were heading to the beach or firing up the grill this past Labor Day weekend, the Mingey family had other plans.

Guiding Eyes brood Haven, currently being fostered by the Mingey family through Guiding Eyes’ brood and stud foster program, is spending three weeks at the Canine Development Center in Patterson, NY while she is in heat. The family has missed her so much while she has been away that they decided to hold a fundraiser in her honor.

What’s the best fundraiser on a hot summer day?  A lemonade stand, of course! So the Mingey children made their best lemonade recipe, packed up their favorite cookies, and headed to the local train station. There, they set up a stand to sell their goods while educating others about the work and mission of Guiding Eyes. In just an hour and a half, they raised $100 for the organization.

Guiding Eyes brood Haven relaxes on a porch with the Mingey children
Brood Haven and the Mingey children

“People were stopping to donate even if they didn’t want anything to eat or drink,” said their mother, Darby Mingey. “The kids loved going online afterwards to submit their donation in Haven’s honor.”

As first-time volunteers with Guiding Eyes, the Mingeys are ecstatic with their decision to get involved. They immediately fell in love with Haven and have now been fostering her for two years.

“When we learned about the brood and stud program, we knew it was the ideal way for us to help,” Darby explained. “It allows my children to be part of the process; they help feed Haven every day and walk her. In return, we get to provide a home to an awesome dog. She is perfect; we love her.”

From all of us at Guiding Eyes, thank you for your time, dedication, and contributions toward our mission!

To learn more about becoming a foster volunteer for Guiding Eyes, visit