BERLIN – A local boy will continue his tradition of giving back to the community as he joins his classmates to celebrate the 100th day of school.
Though the milestone 100th day doesn’t occur until February, 7-year-old Mason Hetherington started his project last week. Hetherington’s goal is to collect 100 bags of dog food to donate to the Worcester County Humane Society.
“I’m so proud of him,” said Eliza Mason-Burt, Hetherington’s mother. “When I see him making an effort to help people and animals, it warms my heart.”
This will be the third year Hetherington has turned his 100th day of school project into a community-wide initiative. When he was in kindergarten, he decided to collect police patches to show his support for law enforcement officers. When Mason-Burt shared the initiative on Facebook, the project took social media by storm. Hetherington ended up collecting more than 800 patches. He received patches from every state and from a number of foreign countries as well. He went on to share many of them with a young boy battling cancer.
Last year, Hetherington collected toys to donate to the children’s wing of Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Mason-Burt said that was a cause that meant a lot to him because he’d been a patient there himself and noticed how few toys there were for sick children. As it had the first year, the effort found plenty of support and Hetherington was able to collect more than 300 toys.
“That was awesome and it was really meaningful for him,” Mason-Burt said.
This year, the Ocean City Elementary School second-grader decided he wanted to mark the 100th day of school by collecting 100 bags of pet food to donate to the Worcester County Humane Society. While excited about the initiative, Mason-Burt thought it might prove difficult as the organization only accepts one particular brand, Verus. Within days of sharing the project on Facebook, however, Hetherington had already received eight bags of Verus food. In addition, Paws & Claws in West Ocean City offered to serve as a collection point and to provide customers a 10 percent discount when purchasing food for Hetherington.
Because she thought collecting so many bags of that particular brand might be difficult, Mason-Burt also contacted the Verus company to ask for a donation.
“They said if he reaches his goal on his own they’ll match it with 100 bags,” she said.
And while her son’s primary goal is to support the Worcester County Humane Society, Mason-Burt says he doesn’t want to turn any donation away. He’ll be giving any donated food that isn’t Verus to the Wicomico County Humane Society, which accepts all brands.
Hetherington will be collecting donations through Feb. 10. To arrange a pickup in Worcester County message Eliza Mason-Burt on Facebook.
“We really appreciate the community’s help,” she said.