(NEWS RELEASE) CHICAGO -January 15, 2009-The Chicago broadcasting and print media community is joining the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Hewitt Associates in a united effort to help those facing the devastating aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. The CHICAGO HELPS HAITI relief drive will take place Thursday, January 21st from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Television and radio stations throughout the Chicago area will air a blitz of public service announcements encouraging people to call 1-877-565-5000 starting at 5:00 a.m. on January 21st to contribute to the American Red Cross Haitian relief effort. These public service announcements will begin airing early next week and will continue throughout the relief drive event on the 21st. Stations participating include: WBBM-TV, WCIU-TV, WFLD-TV, WGN-AM, WGN-TV, WLS-TV, WMAQ-TV, WPWR-TV, WSNS-TV, WTTW-TV, CLTV, Me-TV. CBS Radio stations, WFMT-FM, The Clear Channel network of stations, WVON, WGN-AM, the Univision stations including WOJO, WPPN,WVIV, WRJO as well as WTMX, WDRV, WILV, WGCI-FM, WLIT-FM, WLUP, WKQX, WKKC, NextMedia radio stations and virtually all radio stations in the area will participate. Crain's Chicago Business and The Daily Herald will also be supporting these efforts. More media partners are expected to be added in the coming days.
Hewitt Associates will be providing the phone bank staffed by 1,500 employee volunteers to take donations from their Lincolnshire headquarters with support from their other call centers in Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC and The Woodlands, TX. TV and radio stations will be broadcasting live from the CHICAGO HELPS HAITI phone bank with updates on relief efforts and donation totals.
The last time the Red Cross partnered with Chicago media and Hewitt was in 2004 for a one-day telethon to aid victims of the Asian tsunami. The result of that effort was extraordinary. The broadcasters in this city have a keen understanding of the difference they can make when they join forces to get the word out when a major disaster strikes, and we know this will be the case with our effort to help the people of Haiti," said Jackie Mitchell, Director of Marketing and Communications, The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
On Tuesday, January 12, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port Au Prince, causing catastrophic damage and loss of life. Initial estimates are that up to 3 million people may be affected.
Chicagoans can also make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at www.chicagoredcross.org/haiti. $10.00 donations can be made to the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti by texting "Haiti" to 90999.
Chicagoans may also follow the event on the Chicago Red Cross Facebook and Twitter sites during the drive.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago serves more than 8.6 million people in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties through the support and generous contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, and the United Way. For more information, call 312-729-6100 or visit www.chicagoredcross.org.