When tornadoes devastated Southern Indiana, LIN Media’s WISH-TV (CBS) Indianapolis put out the call for help, opening its phone lines. Viewers answered with nearly a quarter of a million dollars, in less than 24 hours, for the tornado relief effort.
The Friday tornadoes ripped through Southern Indiana claiming many lives and the homes of hundreds more. Saturday, as part of 24-Hour News 8’s continuing coverage, WISH-TV kicked off its “Hoosiers Helping Hoosiers” relief effort in the 6 p.m. newscast. By noon Sunday, the on-air fund drive had already raised more than $220,000.
“The pictures and video in our Friday newscasts demonstrated something needed to be done to help Hoosiers in Southern Indiana. Saturday morning our team went into action. Within hours, a plan was in place and a telethon on the air and in less than 24-hours. The overwhelming support that began in our 6 p.m. newscast and carried throughout Sunday was astonishing. As of now, we’re still receiving financial support via texts, online and mail,” said Jeff White, WISH-TV president and general manager. “This incredible effort is a result of the generosity of viewers and local businesses. It is also WISH-TV’s commitment to our community.”
The generous outpouring came from viewers statewide and area businesses, including, $50K from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, $20K from Marsh, and $5K from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. Other donations included those from Huntington Bank, Tire Barn, Andy Mohr Automotive and Ray Skillman.
The work has just begun and the need is still great, the station noted.