Stepping Up: Mid-South helped WMC raise over $2 million for Memphis charities in 2020

Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 9:56 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Mid-South’s generous heart sparkled brighter than ever in the pandemic of 2020.

We have millions of reasons to say thank you to our many charitable viewers, for stepping up when we broadcast genuine community needs.

Christmas came early in the WMC parking lot as so many of you donated toys for toddlers served by Porter-Leath.

You saw to it that each one of the 6,200 children under age five that Porter-Leath serves receives at least one toy.

Many of you donated cash, along with a Secret Santa, to make little eyes light up!

The Mid-South Food Bank has done heroic service in 2020, distributing more than five million pounds of food each month to so many with cupboards left bare by COVID-19.

When WMC launched its 13th annual Holiday Food Drive, you dug deep and helped put bread on the tables of our neighbors in 31 Mid-South counties. Shattering our goal, you gave over $130,000!

With the food bank’s buying power, that translates into 400,000 meals for hungry Mid-Southerners.

When the pandemic closed schools in March, WMC partnered with Shelby County Schools to produce “School on TV” on WMC’s “Bounce” 5.2 sub-channel.

By the fall semester, virtual school became our reality as parents of 95,000 SCS students picked up laptops or iPads paid for with CARES ACT funds.

But that money ran out for headsets so at-home learners could concentrate better, hear their teachers and respond clearly.

On the first day of school, Aug. 31, we launched a one day campaign to buy headsets for all 95,000 students.

Memphians like former NBA player Lester Hudson stepped up with $10,000.

Big names like International Paper, FedEx and the TVA chipped in large sums but a huge portion of headset funds came from gifts from you, our viewers.

The grand total of the WMC Headsets for Learning Drive? -- $322,832!

This kind of giving inspired the Shelby County Commission to kick-in another $750,000, making sure every SCS child receives a headset!

“I’m so excited about the outpouring of support and the community how they’ve wrapped their arms around our children here in Shelby County and this week we made history,” said SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital had to cancel thousands of fundraising events due to the pandemic in 2020.

So the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway became more important than ever.

You delivered again, buying 15 thousand $100 Dream Home tickets, the most ever, to send $1.5 million to St. Jude.

Stepping up, you helped WMC raise a fortune! It’s a grand total of more than $2 million that Memphis charities will share meeting the needs of people in our hometown.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy regularly ranks Memphis as one of the most charitable cities in America with an average of nearly 6% of household income donated to non-profits, the highest in the nation.

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