Warrior Canine Connection is pleased to introduce you to two new team members. Please join us in welcoming…
Sarah Olson is the new volunteer coordinator for WCC. Sarah works with all the different individuals and groups who help support WCC’s mission. In her role, she supports just about every WCC program through the recruitment, coordination and placement of all our amazing volunteers.
No stranger to the military, Sarah is married is Mike, a 21-year Army Veteran, and they and their four daughters have lived all over the country, including Fort Bragg, Fort Knox, Fort Drum, Madison, Wisconsin and Fort Belvoir.
After multiple deployments, one of their daughters began wrestling with severe anxiety, which led her family to apply for a military family support dog from WCC. They were paired with Black Lab Stacey, who graduated in WCC 2018 class.
“Stacey has transformed our family,” says Sarah. “The unconditional love that she has brought to our family, how she loves my daughter and all of us — no matter what — has been absolutely life-changing for us. I am a WCC advocate now turned staff member and consider it a true privilege to now get to help others.”
Sarah received her degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University and comes to WCC after teaching kindergarten for three years. Throughout the years, she also helped create and manage several military and school volunteer programs.
Meet Amy Guidash. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Amy runs the WCC service dog training program in conjunction with Buncombe County’s Veterans Treatment Court.
Amy can routinely be found in the courtroom with her lovable sidekick Clifford, a Golden Retriever from the Greatest Generation litter. Together, they provide training instruction and outings for Veterans involved in the legal system. She says the program has been such a success, several Veterans who’ve already completed their community service hours continue to volunteer with WCC’s program simply because they love it.
And so does Amy.
“Having a background in mental health, I went through a lot with a lot of people,” said Amy. “The progress and impact you see when people interact with the dogs are amazing; you can see them make these automatic connections, and that’s something that’s hard to find in mental health because it’s a long-term process. With dogs, you can often see the light bulbs go on and see an immediate connection. It’s an absolute passion of mine to take the two worlds and use them together for the greater good.”
Amy has a Master’s in marriage and family therapy from Seton Hill University. She is married and has two daughters.