Bringing dog soldiers home, Western Union Elementary fourth grader bakes her heart out in support of military dogs
The story of Duchess, a dog euthanized during the Vietnam war, weighed heavily on the mind and heart of Western Union Elementary fourth grader Carol Jeffcoat.
Carol’s great-uncle Dave Miller served in the Vietnam war as a military dog handler. Soldiers euthanized his dog Duchess rather than sending her home for budgetary reasons. When Carol learned the same practice goes on in current wars, her wheels began to turn, according to her mother Lisa Jeffcoat.
A visit to a neighboring church got Carol started on the notion of filling up a jar of savings to “help bring dogs soldiers home,” Lisa Jeffcoat said. When saving on her own wasn’t filling up her jar quite quickly enough, Carol got the idea of a bake sale.
In January, Carol began saving her $3-a-week allowance, along with every penny she earned. By July, she had raised $150. “We took her money, bought the supplies with coupons, and then Carol baked her heart out,” said Lisa. The bake sale that ensued on September 11 surpassed everyone’s expectations.
Carol used her funds to make flyers passed around in school, and received a lot of support from teachers and students at her school. Her mother’s Facebook posting encouraged people to come and eat for a good cause. “Everyone began to repost and the word got out,” Lisa exclaimed. At the end of the event, Carol raised $1145.75 courtesy of the bake sale and subsequent donations.
“I baked over 300 cupcakes and 300 rolls,” Carol said. “It took about three weeks to bake, and one day to sell.” “We sold everything on the table!” her mother noted.
Miller presented the funds during the Vietnam Security Police Association annual reunion on Oct. 6 in Dayton, Ohio, in honor of Old Dawgs and Pups, an organization that supports new handlers. Upon receiving Carol’s check, the 250 in attendance gave her a standing ovation for all her efforts and passion on behalf of K-9 soldiers and their dogs.
Carol’s efforts are in keeping with Western Union Principal Rita Webb’s motto, who recognized Carol for her outstanding civic duty. Despite the six months of savings, and the weeks of baking—Carol may be up for a repeat performance. When asked, she replied, “I think I’ll do this again!”