2017 Year in Review: Kelly Matherly, Fundraising Coordinator

It’s time to look back on 2017! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2017 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

I have been at the Wildlife Center a long time in the Development Department -- 16 years and counting.  I have seen many colleagues come and go over these years, but in a unique field like wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education, bonds are developed quickly within our small staff.  We share meals, give each other gifts (many of them pranks!), take care of each other’s pets, and support one another throughout the year.

I have also experienced many changes in my personal life since I started in 2001 … I got married shortly after beginning my career here and I now have four kiddos that keep me busy balancing home life and a rewarding job.  This past fall my 11-year-old, Gillian, began her 6th-grade year with quite an intimidating project curriculum for her English class.  As a working mom, I was immediately anxious for her workload, and then we received the first two topics ... Environmental Literacy and Conservation and Jacques Cousteau.  Well, needless to say, I was pretty sure where I could help her gather resources for these!

I came into work and found Raina, gave her a sweet smile and an Americano, and asked if she'd be willing to let Gillian interview her about Environmental Literacy to go along with her other research.  Of course, Raina was happy to help – she has known Gillian for many years and enjoys her sassy spirit!  Gillian has obviously been around the Center and met our educational ambassadors, but it was special for me to see her come in with prepared questions and start to put together in her mind not only the important work we do here in treating animals and educating the public but how it truly makes an impact on the health of the environment and the responsibility she carries for the future. 

For the next project about Jacques Cousteau, we, of course, checked with our very own Ed Clark!  Ed has known members of the Cousteau family and was able to give Gillian some historical background on the important contributions of Cousteau in the world of marine life research and conservation.  Gillian borrowed some of Ed’s dive equipment, donned a red watchman’s cap, and presented to her class!

As I reflect on this past year, I continue to be reminded of how it takes a village!  My friendships here at the Wildlife Center make it so enjoyable to come to work each day as I balance our busy household and activities, but they also represent how we all share in the mission of education – even helping shape my children’s respect for environmental health and understand the important role they have inherited.

--Kelly

Check out all of our year-in-review posts!