Vivian Podolec is a 7-year-old 2nd grader at Coleytown Elementary School. She has always loved dogs, and has a special spot in her heart for rescue animals.
Not long ago, she asked her parents how she could start her own business and help dogs. They suggested volunteering, and donating money to organizations that do good things.
Vivian decided to have an art show, and donate all proceeds to Westport Animal Shelter Advocates. Her mom Julie was proud, but wondered if she would actually follow through.
Vivian did. She made some drawings, and a flyer inviting neighbors to stop by. (She offered free donuts with a purchase.)
On a cold day, she set up outdoors. She sold every piece — and got orders for more.
“So many children have been so wonderful in this town,” says another Julie — Loparo, president of WASA, the all-volunteer organization that helps with vet care and re-homing for rescue and owner-surrender dogs.
Julie nominates Vivian — who WASA hopes can do a commissioned piece, to hang in Westport Animal Control — and other Westport youth as “Unsung Heroes,” for their work with WASA.
She says, “We are so grateful for the support we have received from both individual and groups like SLOBS (Staples Service League of Boys), Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts and more.
“From proceeds of a lemonade stand or bake sale, to assistance producing adoptable dog videos, to construction of a play area adjacent to Westport Animal Control that allows impounded dogs to kick up their heels, all of these efforts and so many more come from the generosity and kind hearts of Westport children and teens. They have benefited so many dogs in need of second chances.”
Thank you, Vivian and everyone else who helps WASA. You deserve much more than a grateful pat on the head!