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Charity roundup: Clark Howard's Christmas Kids, Power's Stuff a Bus, 11Alive Canathon, Fish Christmas Wish


This was posted Sunday, January 8, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

A victim of my own procrastination, I failed to report on a few radio and TV charity events I visited last month. Here is an overview before it gets TOO far into January.

For an incredible 26th year, radio host and on-line consumer guru  Clark Howard collected toys for Georgia's foster children.

The good news: his fans, via collections at local Wal-Marts and Sams Clubs, purchased 25,000 toys for more than 8,400 foster kids. (Each child requested three gifts.)

The bad news: that number is by far the most Clark has ever had to collect. He said the epidemic of opiate addiction has riven more and more families in the state.

"It's our listeners and viewers who come and decide out of the goodness of their heart to open up their wallets," Clark said in a Facebook Live video from the Milton Wal-Mart last month. "The only way this kid gets Christmas gifts is if you do it."

Clark said the biggest challenge is getting donors to buy gifts for the older teens, who are most vulnerable and are about to age out of the foster care system. "They are on their own when they turn 18," he said. "They are cast out."

He said this was not his idea in 1991. A promotions person at WSB wanted to give gifts to kids in general. A year later, Clark took it over and it eventually became Clark's Christmas Kids around 1993 or 1994, he said.

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Here is a sweet Christmas Wish from Fish 104.7 that will make you feel good - unless you are the Grinch!

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Power 96.1 may have changed morning shows last year but it decided to stick with its Stuff a Bus toy campaign toy collection drive started by Scotty Kay in 2014.

Here are some shots and a Facebook Live video I took from Atlantic Station of the new team of PK (Panagiotis Kalentzis,), his wife Denise and Terry J.

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Finally, I stopped by the 11Alive Can-a-thon for the Salvation Army at a Turner Field parking lot.

Although while I was there that Friday morning, donations were sparse, people came out in force later in the day. Pick up spots were all over the city. In the end, 11Alive collected the most food since 2008, far exceeding its totals from 2015. The efforts were able to stock 13 food pantries for an entire year.

This year, 11Alive used Radio One radio stations (Hot 107.9, Majic 107.5/97.5, Boom 102.9, Praise 102.5) instead of CBS Radio (V-103 and WAOK) as supporting radio partners. Donations increased an impressive 27 percent with Rome residents being especially charitable.

2015:

Turner: 31,008

Cumberland Mall/Cobb: 40,392

Infinite Energy Center/Gwinnett: 55,041

Rome: 67,781

Studio : 26,452

TOTAL: 220,674

2016

Turner: 36,762

Cumberland Mall/Cobb: 37,128

Infinite Energy Center/Gwinnett: 62,724

Rome: 110,000

Studio: 22,200

Mobile/Online : 11,952

TOTAL: 280,739


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.