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Local bakery decides to 'feed the spirits' of soldiers overseas



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Scott Eschelbach (left) and Debra Meyers, owners of Sweet & Savory Bake Shop in downtown Oxford. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
January 25, 2012 - There's nothing American soldiers serving overseas cherish more than being able to hear the voices of their loved ones back home.

Thanks to the Sweet & Savory Bake Shop in downtown Oxford our courageous servicemen and women will receive 362.5 hours of free phone time with which to talk to their wives, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.

For three weeks during the month of December, the bakery, located at 9 S. Washington St., collected donations for the Cell Phones for Soldiers organization.

The bakery's customers donated a grand total of $725. Every $5 donation to Cell Phones for Soldiers equals 2.5 hours of free talk time for American soldiers deployed overseas and returning home.

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"We had an amazing response," said Debra Meyers, who co-owns the bakery with Scott Eschelbach. "People were, left and right, thanking us for giving them the opportunity to give. We love that we have a space where we can offer those kinds of opportunities now and then."

Meyers learned about Cell Phones for Soldiers through talk show host Oprah Winfrey's official website.

"Every year we do a couple fund-raisers and we usually do it for (groups) that feed people in need," she explained. "I happen to see this one on Oprah's website and I thought this year we'll feed the spirits of the American soldiers instead."

Winfrey's website contained a list of charities people could donate under $10 to and still make an impact.

For every $5 contribution made at Sweet & Savory, the bakery gave the donor a two-pack of delicious cupcakes.

"I didn't want to just ask for money; I wanted to thank them," Meyers said. "So, I decided to give everybody cupcakes for their donations. For us to give cupcakes – it's just a joy really."

"Some people would drop in a $20 bill. Some took some cupcakes, others said they just wanted to donate," she added.

As always, Meyers is extremely grateful to Oxford area residents for their generosity.

"Thank you to our community for always stepping up whenever we ask for help," she said. "We're just proud to be part of it."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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