Birmingham’s local broadcast media companies have put competition on hold to use their platforms as one voice to build a better Central Alabama. They are United for United Way to encourage their viewers and listeners to support United Way of Central Alabama’s call to GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER. This is a first of its kind event/partnership for the Birmingham market, launching shortly after the organization’s fundraising kickoff in early September.
United for United Way participating television stations are WBRC FOX 6 News; WVTM 13; ABC 33/40, CW21, My 68 and WIAT CBS 42. Each station will individually customize and promote this concept for their audiences. They will be joined in this first ever awareness and fundraising event by Birmingham local radio companies to include the: (9) Summit Media’s stations, John Walker, President; (6) Cumulus Media’s Birmingham market stations, Bill Gentry Market Manager; and the (16) iHeartMedia radio stations serving Central Alabama, Tom Hanrahan, Market Manager.
Each station will begin promoting the event (e.g. Wed., 9/30) beginning on September 23rd, running their promotions through up to September 30th. Each local broadcaster will produce and air interviews that are focused on the nonprofit agencies in United Way of Central Alabama’s network and how those organizations represent a social services safety net for Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount, and St. Clair counties. “This is an exciting new addition to our campaign. We are thankful that Tom Luckie, Luckie and Media Division chair, is navigating this one voice awareness.”, said John Martin, Sr. VP Resource Development.
The 2020 United Way campaign messaging is focused on the immediate response and ongoing recovery efforts to the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. This is not a telethon; it is an unprecedented partnership that will focus on today’s unprecedented needs:
Basic Needs – Food, shelter, utility assistance
Mental Health – Depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse
Workforce Supports – Childcare, job training, transportation
“The United Way is an organization that has a special place in our hearts at WBRC FOX6 News. This wonderful group provides so much to our community by supporting organizations across Alabama that help people in need, and WBRC is proud to support and partner with them and our fellow local broadcasters on this special fund raising and awareness drive,” said WBRC FOX6 News Vice President and General Manager Collin R. Gaston.
“In times of need the people of Alabama always unite and support each other,” said Susana Schuler, WVTM 13 President and General Manager. “We are proud to Unite for United Way in bringing awareness and we hope donations to the many United Way agencies like Community Foodbank of Central Alabama and Better Basics that are working more than ever to support our community during this COVID-19 crisis.”
United Way is built to respond to disasters. We know what to do. We know who needs help. We know how to help. Closing the gap between the needs and resources to meet those needs is the biggest challenge. For example, we are serving more people than ever and still have unmet needs; The nonprofit safety net is stretched, and some nonprofits could be at risk of closing.
“The TV stations that make up Sinclair Broadcast Group in Birmingham: ABC 33/40 CW21 (WTTO) and My68 (WABM), are proud to recognize the extraordinary work of the United Way in Central Alabama,” said Eric Land, VP & General Manager. “United Way’s unrelenting effort to serve our communities must have the support of us all, especially in the challenging times we currently face.”
“In this time of enormous need, CBS 42 is honored to support United for United Way,” said Jimmy Cromwell, General Manager of WIAT CBS 42. “As local broadcasters, CBS 42’s mission to embrace our community through our unique role reflects perfectly with United Way of Central Alabama’s purpose of increasing the organized capacity of people to care for one another and to improve their communities.”
Viewers and listeners will be able to donate online at www.uwca.org or by texting United to 62644.
United Way of Central Alabama serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount and St. Clair counties by providing solutions for the most critical needs in the community. Through our partner agencies and community initiatives, we improve lives and community conditions by building and mobilizing resources. United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. For more information, visit www.uwca.org.