Results of WRAL-TV’s 21st Annual Coats for the Children Campaign
Volunteers work in freezing temperatures to sort coats for area children in need.
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You’d never know it was a recession based on the kindness of WRAL-TV viewers. The 21st Annual WRAL-TV Coats for the Children Campaign drew to a close on December 31, 2009, and volunteers sorted the coats on a brisk Saturday, January 12, 2010. The result? A grand total of $76,800.10. The monetary donations knocked the top out of the just over $70k collected last year.
“Our viewers continue to be most generous,” said WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish, who produces the Telethon each year.
Volunteers braved bitter cold on the second Saturday in January to help sort the coats. The group sorted 7,001 coats collected in Wake County that morning. Numbers have not yet been reported for the other participating counties, but WRAL is certain to exceed the 10,000 coats donated last year!
WRAL-TV’s Phyllis Parish helps sort thousands of coats in the cold.
“Saturday started out as a frigid morning spent sorting, counting and boxing thousands of coats,” said WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold, who coordinates the annual Coats for the Children Campaign. “After a few hours passed and after witnessing firsthand the overwhelming generosity of our viewers, our hearts were warmed and so were our bodies. It is such an encouraging experience to work alongside dedicated volunteers to ensure families in need of warm coats will have a place to go for help.”
Members of a local sorority and fraternity, of which two CBC’ers are members, came out to help, alongside employees and Salvation Army staffers.
Corporate Accountant Renee Hinton brought her sorority sisters out for the second year in a row.
Learning Through Lending a Hand
“For the past five years or so, my wife Barri and me along with our children have increased our efforts on volunteering to help others who are in need of those things that many of us have but those less fortunate, don’t,” said Burch. “Coats for the Children always seems like a great place to start especially when I can involve my family.”
When Burch asked his daughters if they’d like to help with the sorting, they not only said yes but found three friends who came along, too.
“We arrived at the Salvation Army Saturday morning to sort the coats in very cold weather which was a reminder to all of us that these coats will be especially useful during these cold, winter months,” said Burch. “We felt honored to be helping and I’m proud that my girls were so happy to participate.”
“It all started last year when I saw on the employee website that Loretta needed volunteers to help out with the sorting of the coats for the kids,” said Hinton. She asked her chapter if they’d like to help. “I felt like it would be a great way to give our time back to the community.”
They decided to make it an annual event.
“When I saw that the weather was going to be as cold as it was, I was wondering if my sorority sisters would still come out on a cold winter day,” she continued. “And they have never let me down. They just kept showing up. I was so excited to see them come out, even an older sorority sister to come out because of her love and dedication to the Sorority and the community.”
Volunteers truly sacrificed for the sorting this year, not only their time, but their comfort.
“We weathered the cold winter day by taking turns getting warm in the building and drinking hot chocolate,” said Hinton. “We will come out and help sort coats for the kids as long as they need our help!”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Bill Burch for this capcom story.