The Dog Adoption House has been the beneficiary of several Boy Scout Eagle projects. Its executive director, Paula Schoen, thinks the latest will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Or, technically, receiving.
Since September, the Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge facility has had a donation box in its foyer, the handiwork of George Hendrick, of Troop 888, who built and donated it in a project that completed his requirements to attain Boy Scouts’ highest rank. Because his family dog is a rescue, it only made sense to him.
“My whole life, I’ve just always loved dogs,” said Hendrick, 18. “And I knew for my Eagle Scout project I wanted to help dogs some way.”
He approached Schoen, who had long wanted a receptacle that invited those who came to adopt dogs to also offer financial support. She wanted something that would grab people’s attention and suggested a game-type design that would make giving fun.
Hendrick agreed, but knew he’d need some help.
Finding the Baton Rouge Woodworkers Club online, he asked if anyone might show him how to build it. Member Jeff Springer volunteered.
“He had an idea of what he wanted,” Springer said. “He didn’t have a good knowledge of how to put it all together, so we sat down, kept the general outline of size and stuff that he wanted.”
They settled on a wooden cabinet with a wood-framed clear panel in front that allows donors to see if paper money donations fall into a bowl, guarded by a stuffed pooch, and rails angled so coins will roll back and forth to the bottom. Multicolored LED lights, ahem, beg for attention.
After selecting and buying the wood, Hendrick followed Springer’s instructions as they cut and put it together, using the planer, joiner and table saw in Springer’s workshop. Club member Drew Kumiega also helped out, Springer said.
“Most of everything he had me do myself,” Hendrick said. “If it ever got too dangerous that needed his expertise, he would do it but made sure I was watching so I could learn from it.”
Working two nights a week, three hours per session, they completed the box in about two months. Fellow Scouts from Troop 888, which is based at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, helped with the sanding.
Since early September, the box has been doing its job of collecting donations. A stepladder allows youngsters to climb high enough to “Feed the dog,” as the sign on top suggests.
“It’s been received well,” Schoen said. “Normally, people walk in and they’re coming to look at the dogs, so sometimes we have to direct them. But sometimes the kids see it automatically and want to know what it is.
“I don’t know why George picked us, but I’m thrilled he did.”