People from all over the United States are joining the effort to help tornado victims in northern Iowa. After news of Sunday’s disaster broke nationally, a television station in Parkersburg, West Virginia teamed with the local Red Cross chapter to raise nearly 11-thousand dollars for the residents of Parkersburg, Iowa.
Roger Sheppard, Vice-President and General Manager of WTAP-TV, says their local chapter of the American Red Cross helped out it together at the station’s request. Sheppard says the Red Cross has been hit hard by all the storms in the country this year and people could designate the money for Parkersburg, Iowa, or the disaster relief fund.
The station raised $10,600 during a nearly 30-hour on-air campaign. Sheppard says he’s amazed that so many people showed up to support a cause they knew nothing about a day-and-a-half earlier. Sheppard says he was “blown away” by the amount, not the generosity, because he says people have always been generous when they’ve done this before. But says for this particular cause he was “just flabbergasted” by the amount raised.
Sheppard came up with the idea for the fund drive. Since the two cities share a common name, he thought it’d be a good way to raise money for the Parkersburg relief effort. Sheppard says it’s just a coincidence that two towns have the same name, and he was aware there was such a town in Iowa. He says they are always looking for ways to help out, and this seemed like a good tie-in.
Sheppard says the Iowa relief effort is getting support from people on the West Coast. He says he had a phone call from California wanting to help out who thought he had called Parkersburg, Iowa. Sheppard said he straightened it out and the man was able to go ahead with his fundraising effort as well. The Parkersburg, West Virginia fund drive could generate more money. Sheppard says additional checks have been arriving in the mail and more are expected to arrive before the end of the week.