Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives
Nearly 50,000 children whose families live below the federal poverty level had a gift to unwrap last Christmas morning thanks to the work of KTVK-TV in Phoenix, Ariz., and The Salvation Army. The two organizations began their annual Christmas Angel program 23 years ago. Now more than two decades later, the program places Christmas trees with the wishes of needy children in 11 malls, mobilizes more than 5,000 volunteers, and serves tens of thousands of children. To sustain the five-week campaign, which is considered the largest of its kind in the country, KTVK commits more than $1.25 million in station resources. This past winter, when angel tags were still unclaimed toward the end of the campaign, KTVK put together a one-day broadcast, “The Forgotten Angel Toy Drive,” bringing in an additional 350 toys and $27,000. “The community support for this program is truly amazing,” said Nick Nicholson, president and general manager. “It is one of those programs that is a holiday tradition for many valley families. Our employees even get in on the action by volunteering, sorting toys in the Christmas Angel warehouse and taking tags from an Angel Tree located in our lobby.” Since the program’s inception, KTVK viewers have donated more than 1 million toys.
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