A year ago, Sooke mom Kathleen Forget held her first bottle drive to help pay for autism therapy for her child, and has been fundraising for causes in Sooke ever since.
Both of Forget’s children, Allison, 11, and Nathan, 13, are on the autism spectrum, but her son is more severe and was struggling in the public school system.
The therapy program, called Building Bridges Community Support, allows Nathan to be home schooled, have one-on-one therapy, speech and language therapy, behaviour consultant sessions, and counselling.
“The difference the therapy program has made in my son is incredible,” said Forget. “His math and science skills, his social skills, his conversations, he is just improving so much now, and we are getting through to him in ways that we could’t before.”
But the program costs approximately $3,000 out of Forget’s pocket per year, so a woman at the bottle depot gave her the idea to hold a bottle drive to help pay for it
“It’s an amazing feeling, how generous that Sooke has been. And once I raised enough money for the therapy program, the bottles kept coming in so I decided that I wanted to give back,” said Forget.
“I choose my causes by looking for where the greatest need is, but I keep the money local and try to spread it out fairly among the community.”
So far, she has raised approximately $6,000 for her son’s therapy, about $620 for Love for Landen, and $910 for the Sooke Parrot Rescue.
“I like helping, and I feel like it provides a service to Sooke,” she said.
She added that her bottle donation is a convenient way for people who want to help, but are unable to volunteer their time or money, give back to their community.
“And not everyone wants to go in to the bottle depot, maybe they are busy or maybe there is a huge line, or maybe they are unable to get there between the hours that it’s open. This way, people can just drop their bottles, cans or scrap metal with me, and I will sort everything for them,” said Forget.
Her donation box is in the same parking lot as the Sooke Bottle Depot, located at 2032 Idlemore Rd. There is also a drop off bin outside the depot so people can donate after hours.
“With Sooke’s help, I will now have been able to pay for two years of therapy for my son, and so it’s nice to look around and say ‘okay well who else needs help.’ If someone is stuck, I just want them to feel like they have somewhere to turn to.”