WRAL-TV 2014 Coats Telethon Brings in More than $93,000 To Help Keep Kids Warm

Ken Smith, Leyla Sanitago & Debra Morgan

WRAL-TV’s Ken Smith & Leyla Santiago and Santa thank all the generous viewers who have donated to the 2014 Coats for the Children!

WRAL-TV viewers generously donated over $93,000 during the station’s annual Coats for the Children Telethon on Friday, December 12, 2014.  And donations continue to come in through WRAL.com and the text to give number (text ‘coats’ to 41444).

WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish talked with capcom about the great result.  She produced the Telethon which included special cut-ins during the day as well as several half-hour specials:

It takes a village to produce a successful telethon and we had an ‘inspired village’ working on the Telethon Friday!  Every department at WRAL-TV was involved either on-air or behind the scenes.  We’re all passionate for the cause…supporting the Salvation Army as they help local families with basic needs.

Ovel Emerson

Ovel Emerson of Dunn starts off the day on a great note, bringing a box full of hand crocheted mittens he and his wife, Sandi, made for the Coats for the Children Telethon.

Sometimes, though, launching the Telethon at 6am is tough.  It’s real early and it’s hard to get the phones ringing.  But early Friday, when we showed Ovel and Sandi Emerson’s box full of hand crocheted mittens, the phones lit up. 

Ovel drove in early from Dunn and talked with Lynda Loveland.  He shared how he and his wife saw the Coats Telethon last year and decided to make as many mittens as they could for this year’s telethon.  It takes them 3 hours to make a small pair.  Sandi told me she’s been crocheting since she was 9 years old and knew these mittens would keep “lots of children’s hands warm this winter. We aren’t able to make a financial contribution, but we think mittens will go well with all the coats you’re collecting.”  

That sweet couple, and their loving gift, is what this campaign is all about.  People helping families in their time of need.  

I think this was one of our best telethons ever. The energy in Studio A was contagious and the broadcast looked great all day long.  We raised $93,000+ to help the Salvation Army and we’re still raising money for new winter clothing and toys, and still collecting gently used coats now through the end of December. As Major Pete Costas with Wake County’s Salvation Army says, “The Coats for the Children campaign is not only essential to these children but it is life changing. The warmth a coat provides goes far beyond protection from the cold. It provides hope to that child in their time of need.”

It’s not too late to give.  Donate online and find out coat and toy drop-off locations on WRAL.com by searching ‘coats’.  And donate via text by texting ‘coats’ to 41444.

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