Local Stations. Big Impact.

Stations Provide Christmas for Underprivileged Youth

Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives

Santa’s workshop comes alive every holiday with the help of listeners and staff from KONY-FM in Washington, Utah, and sister stations KPLD-FM and KZHK-FM. The stations’ "Coins for Kids" campaign brings Christmas to the doorsteps of underprivileged children with the delivery of presents from Santa himself. What began as an idea among a small group of KONY employees has grown over 17 years into its own nonprofit, operated with the help of thousands of volunteers. Last holiday season, more than $100,000 in donations made it possible to serve 2,600 children and 800 families. Station staff is involved in each step of the process, from promotion and fundraising to shopping, wrapping and delivering presents. Efforts begin with live and recorded announcements encouraging listeners to adopt a family or to volunteer. Fundraising occurs throughout morning programming for weeks, with almost nonstop jock talk about "Coins for Kids." All three stations air live remotes from street corners where on-air personalities collect cash donations. Once enough money has been collected, listeners and staff partake in organized shopping and wrapping events. When all of the presents are ready to go, Santas fan out throughout the community to make personal visits, some in horse-drawn carts.

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