Updated: Monday, 05 Mar 2012, 4:59 PM EST
Published : Monday, 05 Mar 2012, 4:59 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - When tornadoes devastated Southern Indiana, WISH-TV 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. Donations can continue to be made at any area Huntington Bank location. WISHTV.com also provides online donations links for the Salvation Army of Indiana, American Red Cross of Indianapolis, Catholic Charities of Indianapolis and United Methodist Committee of Relief. The Midwest Food Bank is in need of volunteers to help load trucks at their Disaster Relief Center. They also are requesting bottled water and milk and drivers with CDL licenses. Call 317-786-8980 to volunteer your time.
24-Hour News 8 and WISHTV.com will have continuing coverage of the relief efforts and the recovery going on in Southern Indiana.