NBC-17 launched its new community outreach endeavor last week with a toy drive that will help put smiles on hundreds of local faces this Christmas.
The station put their NBC-17 At Your Service initiative to work for a toy drive called Stock the Sled, in collaboration with the Capital City Clauses, a non-profit group which donates toys to the Salvation Army of Wake County.
The first Stock the Sled event at North Hills shopping center in Raleigh collected 1,167 new toys this past Friday. NBC-17 broadcast from North Hills throughout the day, with reporters and anchors all pitching in to draw viewers -- and wannabe Santas -- to the event.
NBC-17 Today anchors Bill Reh and Phil Sanchez are shown here taking a toy donation from a generous youngster.
Robby Thomas, director of marketing for NBC-17, said the first ideas for NBC-17 At Your Service coincided with the promotion in June of Doug Hamilton, the station's new general manager.
"He said he wanted to use the power of the station's FCC license to make positive change in this community," Thomas said of Hamilton. "NBC-17 At Your Service is a big part of our plans for 2013. We're always looking for more ways to get involved with the local community. This is a more consistent way to find local charities who need media help."
Thomas said they came up with the idea of a toy drive and met with Capital City Clauses to talk about ways they could increase toy collection beyond the group's annual Jingle Balls drive.
Capital City Clauses has set a goal of collecting more than 5,500 new toys for local children this holiday season. Donations for Stock the Sled are being accepted until December 15 at Park & Market North Hills Apartments. For more information, check out the NBC17.com site.
KISS-FM 93.9, Omega Sports, Learning Express, Inc., and Mia Francesca Trattoria all provided donations or publicity for the toy drive.
After Stock the Sled, Thomas says the plan is for NBC-17 At Your Service to do some sort of community outreach project each month. They've started by polling employees to find out which organizations they are involved with in their personal time. The station is already planning for the MLK Day of Service in January.