Topic: Neighbors in Need
Christmas dinner, complete with a ham, is made possible for needy families through a 10-day food drive organized by WQBE-FM and WVSR-FM in Charleston, W.Va. In addition to a traditional holiday dinner, the Union Mission Christmas Food Drive collects enough donations to give each family food for a week or more. Every morning and every afternoon during the effort, WQBE and WVSR broadcast live from a command center set up in parking lot of a local grocer. The broadcasts target people during their commute to and from work, encouraging listeners to stop by and make a donation. In 2007, the generosity of listeners filled five tractor-trailers full of canned items and raised $15,000. The stations also held a potato challenge, where a local business agreed to give 7,500 10-pound bags of potatoes if the community would collectively match that number, which it did within one week. The stations have held the annual food drive for the past decade, feeding 2,500 families each year; Union Mission, which distributes the food, serves 51 of West Virginias 55 counties. "This event has become so necessary, and the rewards we get from the listeners and the families who are provided Christmas meals mean the world to us," said WQBEs Jeff Jeffreys Whithead. "It is so important they we take care of each other."
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