Matthew is on a Mission!

Just when I thought we were getting ready to cuddle in for a long winter’s nap, Matthew came to Mike and I during the Christmas holidays with a plan.  He has been talking about wanting to improve the raccoon’s enclosure out at Two Rivers Wildlife Park for a while now.  Talking with one of the park’s staff, it was suggested that Matthew do a bottle drive since the holidays would be a great time to collect a bunch of empties.  Matt mentioned it to Mike and I and we thought, sure, why not.  

Mike did up a poster and we started sharing it on Facebook.

blitz poster

Almost immediately there was some interest and people started messaging they had bottles for us to collect.  “How much does he have to raise?” was a common question.

Yikes.  We hadn’t thought quite that far ahead.  We were only interested in getting some bottles for him.  So, ok, he needed a goal.  Hard to say.  Let’s shoot for the stars and say $1,500.  Surely they’d be able to do a good upgrade with that.  $1,500.  Do you know how many bottles that is?  The majority of our bottles are returned here, in Nova Scotia, for .05/bottle.  In order to raise $1,500, he would have to get 30,000 bottles.  THIRTY THOUSAND BOTTLES!!!!  Good grief.  What were we thinking??

A few friends messaged me saying they would like to donate to the cause but they were either too far away or didn’t have any bottles at the moment and wondered if they could contribute with a monetary donation.  The email transfers started arriving.

By January 4th we had enough bottles that we had to do a run to the recycling depot to make more room in our garage.  That trip netted Matthew’s cause $146.30.  Combined with the few online donations he received, we posted our first total:

thermometer total

This was getting exciting!!  We were receiving messages daily from people saying they had bottles for us!  Our coworkers were bringing in bags upon bags while others were handing us donations.

Twice this past week we made trips into town to collect bags (and I means bags) of recyclables from wonderful friends who are only too eager to see and help Matthew achieve his goal.

Mike and I (with Matthew ‘supervising’) spent from 8:00 – 11:30 last night out in the garage counting (not to mention the hours Mike spent through the week sorting and counting).  We had to get another van full ready to go because we simply had no where else to put another bottle! 


Mike was adamant about sorting and counting before he went to the depot.  It sure does make things a lot easier and saves time when he gets there.  Also, he wanted to keep a count of who gave what as we were going.  It’s quite the process!!

Our count last night was over 1,600.  A lot of bottles.  14 bags with various sizes of bottles got loaded in the van.  It didn’t even seem like we put a dent in the bags still in the garage!!  

With a second trip  now done, Matt has added another $130.10 to his total.  Plus donations we posted just a few hours ago a total that has absolutely blown us all away ~ $612.40!!!  In hardly 2 weeks!!!  Unreal.

After sharing that update 2 short hours ago I am over the moon to say that Matthew has received another $100 in donations bringing our total going into the weekend to 



H  O  L  Y     C  O  W!!!!!! (or should I say Holy Raccoon??)

You, my friends, are all incredibly amazing!!!  My heart is so full right now!

To see what Matthew has accomplished and hear how he has touched your hearts makes me one proud Mama.  He has certainly taught everyone a lot about tenacity, commitment, dedication and acceptance.

With just over 21 months spent at Two Rivers, he has accumulated over 2,200 volunteer hours, was a paid employee for 8 weeks this past summer and has now embarked on a mission ~ raising money for upgrades.

He chose the raccoon enclosure as he spent a great deal of time this spring/summer helping to hand raise a raccoon that was dropped off at the park after it was abandoned by its mother.  Rocky has a special spot in Matt’s heart and has become like part of the family. See how he’s grown?

Rocky2 Rocky1

Rocky5 Rocky4

Rocky6 Rocky7 Rocky3

It’s easy to see that Rocky loves Matt just as much as Matt loves him! Hopefully by the time the spring rolls around, Matthew will be able to not only present a cheque to help with the upgrades for the enclosure but also assist with the hands-on renovating that will be carried out because of his love for and commitment to the greatest place on earth for him – Two Rivers Wildlife Park.

Thanks for reading, sharing, collecting bottles, donating and being interested in Matthew’s project!

Until next time..


About angeloftheisland

Welcome to An Angel’s Island. I’m Tracey (aka angeloftheisland). I’m also Mom to 19 year old Matthew who constantly keeps me on my toes. He’s our “special” boy who shows us daily how he deals with the world of ADHD, a Nonverbal Learning Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s my hero. Marcus is 8 and reminds me everyday that he’s in no way going to make the school years boring for his Dad and me!! I’m also wife to Mike for 25 years now. Mike is my best friend and soul-mate and he has showed me over the years, that yes – dreams do come true. Our life may not be the most exciting but there’s always something going on. Welcome to our Happy Place, newly renamed Hilliard's Happy Hideaway. I hope you enjoy what I’ve shared about our family.
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