The Dispatch Indianapolis NBC affil coordinated efforts among a number of partners to generate funds for the American Red Cross to aid victims of Indiana’s devastating tornadoes.
Dispatch Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WTHR Indianapolis (DMA 26) has raised $575,660 as of Friday, from viewers who donated to its WTHR Cares: Hoosier Tornado Relief effort through the station’s phone bank, website or at the studio, with additional funds still coming in. Proceeds go directly to the American Red Cross for victims of Indiana’s devastating tornadoes.
The team effort was developed in conjunction with the station’s emergency response partners which include the American Red Cross, Kroger Grocery Stores, St. Vincent Health, Forum Credit Union and WFMS-FM. The emergency response partnership is a cooperative arrangement formed by WTHR to coordinate relief efforts in times of emergency.
Here are some of the highlights of this relief effort:
- Beginning Sunday, March 4, WTHR quickly established a phone bank to accept donations for victims. The phone bank, staffed by WTHR volunteers, and volunteers from the emergency response team, operated through Monday night.
- On Monday, March 5, WTHR turned its parking lot into a collection point where commuters could make their donation without leaving their vehicle. From 4:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. volunteers and WTHR on-air personalities were outside to accept donations. WFMS-FM personalities broadcast live from the collection site. Social media, Web and on-air announcements throughout the day provided viewers with information on how to donate.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this devastating tragedy,” said John Cardenas, WTHR president-General Manager. “The generosity of Hoosiers is something that continues to amaze all of us here at WTHR. We are so grateful for their response to help those in need, and I am so thankful for our staff here at WTHR and our partners who made this possible.”
In addition, WTHR provided expanded news coverage beginning on Sunday to inform viewers of late-breaking developments and how to assist their fellow Hoosiers. On Monday evening, from 7 to 8 p.m., the 13 Eyewitness News Tornado Special easily won the time period with a 6.6 rating and 11 share according to preliminary data from Nielsen.
WTHR’s efforts continued Tuesday evening, March 6, when the station teamed up with the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Star and The American Red Cross to encourage fans attending the Pacers game to donate to relief efforts.
WTHR also continues to encourage viewers to donate at Central Indiana Kroger Stores or Forum Credit Unions with continuing on-air and newscast announcements.