As winter temperatures in the Triangle have seesawed, many area children are staying warm no matter the weather thanks to the generosity of WRAL-TV viewers. WRAL’s 23rd Annual Coats for the Children Campaign will go down as a success as we collected 7,664 coats in Wake County alone. The annual telethon raised $62,000, and as a new feature, WRAL viewers donated 1,300 toys to make Christmas brighter for children in need.
“Our recent campaign collected 8,000 coats, more than a thousand hats and gloves and more than 62 thousand dollars to buy new winter clothes for families in our viewing area!” said WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish. “Besides those big collections, we also encouraged our viewers, for the first time ever, to donate new toys and we collected more than a thousand! The Salvation Army said we brightened Christmas morning for so many children with our toy collection and that feels really good. Again, we have our loyal, generous viewers to thank for making our Coats and Toys for the Children campaign so successful.”
“Every year, we meet with the Salvation Army prior to the Coats for the Children campaign to see if they have special needs for the year’s coat drive (ex – in past years, they have asked us to emphasize large sizes),” explained WRAL-TV Sales Marketing Director Marian Bell. “This year, when we met with the Salvation Army, they asked if WRAL could include new toys in the 2011 Coats for the Children drive. During the last two years, the Salvation Army has seen a huge increase in the number of families signing up for its December ‘Toy Shop’ program. The Salvation Army estimated 8,000-8,500 Wake County children would need assistance during the holiday season. Their goal was to provide two new toys to each child whose family has requested help through the Salvation Army’s Toy Shop.”
Besides generous viewers, WRAL-TV also had generous sponsors for the campaign. First Citizens celebrated their second year as a sponsor, and Jiffy Lube marked their 22nd year of participating.
“Both sponsors were willing to expand their collections to toys as well as coats and truly made thousands of children’s’ Christmas a little brighter!” said Bell.
The campaign kicked off at the WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade in mid-November and ran until December 31st. The drive included a telethon on WRAL-TV in early December.
“Sometimes it’s hard to relate to someone who’s in need of a winter coat,” explained Parish, who produced the Telethon. “But our anchors do a great job explaining the need throughout our Coats campaign and our viewers get it. They understand many, many local families are in need of the basics – warm, winter clothing to withstand the winter months and so they donate generously.”
Besides the coats collected in Wake County, approximately 2,000 coats were donated outside of county in our outer-lying viewing area.
Volunteers got together on Saturday, January 7, 2012, to sort the coats collected. They are now on their way to children in need.
Thanks again to all of our wonderful viewers and sponsors for giving back to our community in such a warm way.