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WRHI-AM/FM Holds ’Toys for Happiness’ Campaign

Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives

WRHI-AM/FM in Rock Hill, S.C., has harnessed the true spirit of Christmas with its "Toys for Happiness" campaign. The station started the effort more than 15 years ago to make sure all children in the area have gifts under the tree. The effort has blossomed into a true community effort: needy families can apply to be part of the program through the local United Way and its 30 agencies; schools donate gymnasium space for toy storage; and volunteers sort through toys for distribution. Each year, nearly 30,000 toys make their way to South Carolina children. Regular promotional spots start playing at Thanksgiving. In addition, news stories keep listeners up to date on progress, and live remotes from toy collection areas run at least a half-dozen times during the one-month span. All of this coverage is duplicated on the station’s Web stream. "Virtually every word out of our mouths from Thanksgiving through December is about ‘Toys for Happiness.’ And just like the miracle of Christmas, toys start coming in," said Manning Kimmel, managing partner of WRHI. "The campaign involves literally hundreds, if not thousands, of community members. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of."

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