2014 – New season, old van, fresh approach…
A big “thank you” to local police officer Donald McCuish, who, following the attempted theft of the wee TOF collecting box from my van a couple of years ago, suggested that same van, being not the most pristine example of motor engineering excellence, might BECOME the collecting tin.
I thought it was a brilliant idea back then, didn’t get a chance to implement it last year because the van had to be taken off the road, but this year I’ve finally plucked up the courage to cut a coin slot on both side panels to accept donations. This means the van can collect donations 24/7, with the security of locked doors all round. I will of course be emptying it every day.
EVERY Pound or Euro, penny or cent donated will support otters here on the Isle of Mull and all across the Hebrides through the following means:
Otter conservation measures
Welfare of individual otters
Public education and awareness
Long-term otter research
The collecting boxes suspended from the side of the van on both sides are just props to attract attention and it’s not possible to put money into them. I’ve also purchased a second van for personal use so that I don’t have to “hire” the TOF van from myself as I had to in 2012 and 2013 whenever I needed to drive anywhere (this “hire” fee being what I calculated the lost donations might be for the time the van was away and not collecting money – crazy I know!!).
And before anyone complains (and there will be some!) about where the money is coming from for all these van costs (tax, insurance etc), I’m paying for it all out of my own pocket, just as I have always done, with NOTHING taken from the Fund.
So, be assured that when you visit Tobermory, and pop a couple of pennies in the new slots, EVERY penny will go to help otters, just as it always has.
If you want to find the TOF van, it will be spending the season on Main Street, close to the world-famous Mishnish Hotel/pub that I live next door to. Come and give it a stroke :¬)