Person of the Week 1/25: Matt VanEssen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — Matt VanEssen is using some unique tools in the fight against cancer. He’s been able to raise thousands for the American Cancer Society with a purple potty and purple plastic snowman.

VanEssen started his efforts shortly after learning his mother-in-law had been diagnosed with the disease.

He started with an old toilet–painted purple– that he secretly plunked down in peoples yards, asking for donations to remove it. The “Purple Potty Project” raised more than $2,000 thousand dollars last summer.

This winter, VanEssen unveiled “Patrick the Snowman” to raise donations the same way.

“I select the first person, and the subsequent people get selected by the previous person,” explained VanEssen. “When I come up and pick up the snowman, there’s a padlock that I can take off and get the money out.”

VanEssen told FOX 17 it is the least he can do to help.

“I don’t have the knowledge to do all the research, all the things that some of the doctors do, and I thought this is the best I can do, so I’m going to do it to the fullest.”

For more info on the “Purple Potty Project”, click here.

For more info on the “Purple Snowman Project”, click here.

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