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Earning His Wings

An Eagle Scout gives back

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Making a difference in the world begins with the belief that you can do something to benefit more than yourself.

Jacob Davis was just 15 years old when he committed to making a difference in his community. For his Eagle Scout project, Davis organized and completed a donation drive of items needed by local animal rescues. Great way to give back, right?

Jacob and I talked while he sorted donated goods. He’s full of spirit and I like that a lot. Now I share his story with you.

 

Davi: First things first. Talk about your dog.

Jacob: My dog is named Rosie. She is a two-year-old Brussels Griffon—and she’s a mess!
[Davi’s note: Here in the South, calling someone a ‘mess’ is a compliment!]

 

What made you want to organize a donation drive for pets as your project?

I wanted to give back to the community. Therapy dogs visited and supported me when I was in the hospital, so I’m paying it forward through good deeds.

 

What’s an Eagle Scout project process?

It’s a service project to give leadership to others to help the community.

 

How did you find animal rescues that were in need of help?

Carolyn Snowden of the Jacksonville Dog Café helped me identify local rescues that would benefit from my project.

 

How many items did you collect?

I collected more than 1,000 items and about $6,500 in donations!

 

What’s been your biggest challenge?

I had to pull together gift cards to purchase the more expensive items. I had to figure out how to buy heart and flea medicine and prescription dog food. Turns out, veterinary office gift cards make it easy.

 

Did you get others involved?

Yes, I created an Amazon Wish List for everyone to access. With the help of social media and donation flyers, my list reached lots of people, even some I don’t know. The community, my friends and family, and even Dr. Randy helped spread the word and fulfill the lists. The Ronan School of Music was a drop-off site for collected items.

 

What were you able to accomplish with this project, besides collecting donations?

I helped raise awareness for local rescues and strengthened support for St. Francis Animal Hospital, DARE, Pit Sisters, Fur Sisters, the London Sanctuary and Animal Care & Protective Services.

 

How did it feel to be leading the project?

It was a lot of responsibility and hard work, but it felt great to accomplish everything I set out to do! I hope I’ve made a difference.

 

What was your favorite part?

Collecting the donated items. I can’t wait to deliver everything!

 

What lessons have you learned from this?

Writing thank-you notes is exhausting! And it takes time to organize a campaign, solicit donations and inspire others to take action.

 

What have pets meant to you?

They bring me so much joy and comfort.

 

Giving back to the community is on most people’s to-do list, but it takes time and commitment. Through his actions, Jacob Davis has demonstrated how others can create change, and that everyone can contribute to make a better world when we consistently do small acts of kindness.

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Davi the Dachshund hopes we all help others during the holidays and throughout the year.

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