The ABC affiliate in McAllen, Texas, headed up a regional response to the massive earthquake in Haiti by organizing and sponsoring an appeal for donations. KRGV, Channel 5, established the “Haitian Relief Fund” partnering with four local businesses; Burger King, Lacks Furniture, Bert Ogden Motors and Lone Star National Bank. Each sponsor committed to match donations up to $10,000.
With no local administrative costs, 100% of all funds raised were equally divided between The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. The grand total of $151, 674.06 was announced live on the air during a check presentation to Major Dan Ford, Commanding Officer of the McAllen Salvation Army, and Michael Huckerby, a representative of the American Red Cross.
Students in schools across the “Valley” region took the initiative to respond to the plight of the people in Haiti, coming up with many creative fundraising events. These included $1 non-uniform days, the donation of late library book fines and in one Elementary school students made piggy banks out of empty school milk cartons and filled them with spare change from home. In another school, girls were allowed to wear nail polish and boys permitted to un-tuck their shirts for donations of 50 cents! The TV station was inundated with donations from schools, churches and the public in support of the relief work in Haiti.
Major Dan Ford said, “We are very proud to be in a community of such caring businesses and individuals who have come alongside those in distress in Haiti. The efforts of KRGV, Channel 5 during Hurricane Dolly and for the Haiti Relief Fund are shining examples of what can happen when we encourage the public to do the most good for those devastated by disaster.”