WKBN 27 First News telethon brings in over $78K for hurricane victims

Covelli Enterprises, Boak & Sons, Vallourec Star, and Braking Point Recovery Center all chipped in as well

American Red Cross telethon

***Phone lines are now closed. As of Tuesday, Sept. 5, a total of $78,926 has been raised. Thank you to everyone who donated!

If you were unable to get through Thursday evening, you may donate directly to the local American Red Cross office by calling 330-392-2551.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN 27 First News is committed to bringing Hurricane Harvey victims help from the Valley and you responded to the challenge in a big way.

As of Friday afternoon, donations from the telethon and additional calls to the local American Red Cross on Friday raised a total of over $78,000 to go toward the relief effort!

We also challenged both Browns and Steelers fans to donate during the games. The Browns came out on top Thursday evening with $10,035 and the Steelers fans donated $8,840.

Viewers were able to pledge monetary donations for the Red Cross by calling in to the station. Over 2,000 calls were placed during the phone bank, overloading the phone circuits at the station.

Video: Local businesses making sure your dollar is multiplied

Covelli Enterprises has generously agreed to donate $10,000 and it hopes the community will step up to match at least that amount. Boak and Sons and Vallourec Star are also matching donations. Braking Point Recovery Center also chipped in another $10,000.

“Anyone that can give — whether it’s a dollar, whether it’s $1,000, whatever it is — we just hope that we can just be part of helping all the victims that are in Houston,” said Sam Covelli, CEO of Covelli Enterprises.

More than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters and that number continues to increase, according to the Red Cross. Volunteers from the Valley have also made the trip down to Texas to help the victims.

Video: Vallourec Star employees struggling in aftermath of hurricane

The money collected during Thursday’s phone bank goes to the Red Cross and its relief efforts in Texas.

The Red Cross stresses that donations of money are the easiest way for them to help the most people.

Video: What the Red Cross is doing in Texas

There are also some people collecting things to send to Texas like baby supplies, shoes, even t-shirts.

Tiny Tots Depot in Lisbon is collecting baby supplies, boxing them up and shipping them to Texas.

“We just went and bought more baby bottles and pacifiers and anything that we can think of that we don’t have to send down there so somebody has something,” Lisa Dawson said.

Video: Helping those who lost everything

Everybody has been willing to help. There are even collections at many high school football games this week and next.

Dawson just can’t imagine what other mothers might be going through.

“They left their houses with their kids and no toothbrush, no shoes, no socks, nothing for these little ones and it’s breaking my heart,” she said.

Video: Families return to ravaged homes

She is getting help from Josh Kupka, a Lisbon native who was stuck in Galveston on Sunday. He may even take the items to the Lone Star State.

Dawson said she’d be energized seeing them in action.

“We’re hoping we have some pictures from the ground just to see a smile on someone’s face.”

Video: Browns, Steelers fans band together for hurricane victims

At Youngstown State, the number of items keeps growing outside the basketball office. The University of Houston basketball coach requested help and the Penguins are responding.

“Really put a perspective on basketball this week for me,” said YSU Basketball Coach Jerrod Calhoun. “It also showed me that this city is really, really special and we’re about helping people.”

Calhoun has a former player who was trapped in his house by high water.

The items collected are mostly shirts. Each basketball player has contributed, along with other Penguin teams, groups on campus, and even some high schools.

“I just feel that there might be a way that I could help and that was the only way. I’ve donated some money but it’s never enough. I feel like everybody could be doing something to help,” said Miranda Delsignore, with Project Pass.

Both Tiny Tots Development and YSU are still accepting donated items. In Lisbon, Dawson said the rescue workers need more socks and 2XL t-shirts.


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