Enriching the lives of wild animals in captivity.
That was the mission when I started WildHeart in a coffee shop in 2015, and it's the mission now.
The core work is improving enclosures with pools, furniture, and other additions. But the foundation was built on providing enrichment for animals in zoos around the world. Zookeepers would reach out on social media, and WildHeart would send them a toy.
Wildwish.org connects people with the animals their money is helping. Toys and enrichment are crowdsourced with microdonations, and donors are notified when their animal gets the toy they helped buy. No more need for zookeepers to message us on Facebook and then wait while we collect donations to fund a piece of enrichment.
This program is free for zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. I often get asked "What's the catch?" when working with a zoo to provide enrichment. The answer is that there isn't one. The WildHeart Foundation is a passion project; an organization consisting of me and some friends who love and work with wildlife. The projects we've worked on have been acheivements on par with larger nonprofits, but WildHeart is still ran from coffee shops on weekends (except in times of pandemic), and volunteering is scheduled around day jobs or while using vacation time. We do this because we want to see happy animals.
We do this because our hearts are wild.– Matt Plichta, FounderSign up for the program