BURBANK, Calif. — NBC4 Southern California announced today that it raised more than $630,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief during its day-long telethon held on Nov. 2. All funds raised by the “NBC4 Sandy Relief” telethon have been donated to the American Red Cross to fund their relief efforts, including providing shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance as needed.
The funds raised by NBC4 Southern California viewers are on top of the nearly $23 million raised for the American Red Cross as a result of NBC’s “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” a one-hour benefit telethon held on Friday night that was hosted by NBC Today anchor Matt Lauer and featured performances by Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Joe Perry, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting, and Steven Tyler and appearances by Kevin Bacon, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart, and Brian Williams.
“We are so thankful for the outpouring of support for those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Steve Carlston, NBC4’s President and General Manager. “The generosity of our viewers who participated in this fundraising effort was extraordinary and we, along with the American Red Cross, are very grateful to the people of Southern California.”
NBC4 Anchor Colleen Williams led the live cut-in news broadcasts by sharing stories of the hundreds of callers who donated anywhere from $10 to several thousand dollars. Other NBC4 anchors and reporters participated, including: Chuck Henry, Fritz Coleman, Dr. Bruce Hensel, Robert Kovacik, Kathy Vara, Michelle Valles, and newcomer Janet Kwak, joined by dozens of American Red Cross volunteers. The live broadcasts were aired from the station’s command center throughout the day and encouraged viewers to call in and donate any amount.
Donations came from a variety of sources. One young caller gave up $200 from his birthday party savings, while another turned over his piggy bank “life” savings of $332. Even though unemployed, another viewer felt compelled to give what she could. Other donations came in from all over Southern California, including a significant contribution from American Honda Motor Co. Inc., and some from out-of-state.
“We are thrilled with the response and generosity of NBC4 viewers who called in to make donations to help those in desperate need,” said Paul Schulz, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross. “It was fantastic to work with NBC4’s top-notch team to implement this successful telethon under such short notice.”
Continuing with its fundraising efforts, NBC4 also launched a Facebook “Like” Campaign to raise an additional $20,000 for those impacted by Sandy. For every new “Like” on its Facebook page, NBC4 is donating $1 up to $20,000 to the American Red Cross. To date, $5,600 has been raised for Sandy Relief through the campaign.
For those who wish to make donations, visit americanredcross.org.