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Cheerios surprises Wildlife Coalition with major donation

The Wildlife Coalition of Northeast Florida on Jacksonville's Westside just received a major donation from Cheerios and Wal-Mart after a First Coast News report.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Wildlife Coalition of Northeast Florida on Jacksonville’s Westside just received a major donation from Cheerios and Wal-Mart after a First Coast News report.

We met Barbara Tidwell and the staff back in January: profiling their need for donations and volunteers. Also, what they pull together to feed the animals including a mix of Cheerios.

“We use Cheerios for all our animals to ween them off of their formulas,” Wildlife Coalition president Barbara Tidwell said.

Completely by chance, someone from the cereal giant saw the story and sent a message to the coalition’s Facebook page. Explaining that they wanted to give thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies and cash to the Coalition. Sabrina Bourque who has been with the organization for about two years was in charge of keeping the secret.

Pretty surreal, you see these things happening on TV for other people and you’re always excited for them, but when it happens to you. I was in shock,” Bourque said.

Tidwell went to Wal-Mart to pick-up some supplies thinking she would have to pay for them herself.

And then they came out with one of those big checks that’s 10-thousand dollars and said is this real, it was amazing,” Tidwell said.

Bourque said they are still putting some of the supplies away. As for the money, the Coalition is putting some aside as they hope to leave their current facility for a larger one: accommodating more animals and education programs.

“We would have been scrambling if it wasn’t for this donation,” Bourque said.

Just in time, too, since the season for baby squirrels coming into the coalition has already started. The Coalition still needs your help. If you want to donate or get involved, click here for information.