Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives
Every year, KULR-TV in Billings, Mont., works with the Marine Corps to make sure needy children in the area have a gift to open on Christmas morning. During the 14-year partnership, the local Toys for Tots campaign has significantly grown. From Thanksgiving to the week before Christmas, the station donates more than $18,000 in airtime just in promotions about toy drop-off locations. News stories highlight campaign progress and types of toys still needed, and public service announcements feature news talent and Marine coordinators. For one day, the news crew travels to drop-off locations throughout the area, reporting back to viewers through dozens of live cut-ins. Donated toys are displayed on the news set, and anchors encourage people to get involved at the end of each newscast. This encouragement goes a long way. In 2007, the campaign collected 17,000 toys and nearly $10,000. "For a kid, a toy can represent hope and the magic of Christmas," said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brian Dixon. "Without the support of KULR, Toys for Tots in Billings probably wouldn’t come anywhere close to achieving the success we have."
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