The Broadcasters Foundation of America will host its annual Giving Day on Thursday, July 20, where the group will seek financial donations to assist radio and television professionals who are in need.
The Broadcasters Foundation supports radio and television colleagues in all positions — from on-air to behind-the-scenes — who need financial assistance due to a personal emergency, including illness, accidents and natural disasters.
“Giving Day is an opportunity for everyone in radio and television to help our colleagues,” Tim McCarthy, the president of the Broadcasters Foundation, said in a statement. “The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s unique mission is to support our professional community during hard times, when our colleagues are unable to work and struggling to pay basic living expenses.”
McCarthy said radio and television broadcasters often shine a light on members of their local communities who are in need, but sometimes find it difficult to get access to similar resources when they are afflicted with an emergency or crisis.
“The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s unique mission is to support our professional community during hard times, when our colleagues are unable to work and struggling to pay basic living expenses,” McCarthy affirmed.
Donations to the Broadcasters Foundation come directly from the industry — from local radio and television stations, to national networks and major media firms. Those donations are used to provide financial grants to members of the professional broadcast community who need assistance due to an exigent circumstance.
“Over the past 15 years, our grant-making has increased dramatically, distributing $400,000 in 2007 to almost $2 million in 2022,” said Scott Herman, the chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation, who added that the organization typically helps around 400 professionals each year.
“Our monthly grants support broadcasters on a continual basis while they recover from an illness or accident,” Herman continued. “Our emergency grants provide one-time financial aid following a devastating natural disaster or home emergency.”
Some of the broadcast professionals who have been assisted through a grant from the Broadcasters Foundation include:
- Jolene Baller, a radio broadcast professional with four decades of experience who serves as the primary caretaker of her son, Joe, who has cerebral palsy. Baller was forced to leave her job after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and she successfully received a grant to help cover various medical and housing-related expenses.
- Ayesha Khan, a reporter with Fox-owned TV station WTTG (Channel 5) in Washington, D.C. who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021. Ayesha lost mobility on the right side of her body while being treated for cancer, and suffered from general weakness related to her condition. She was awarded a grant to cover medical and housing-related costs.
- Céline McArthur, an investigative reporter with Fort Myers-based WINK-TV (Channel 11), whose home was flooded during Hurricane Ian while she was reporting on the storm. Celine applied for and received a grant to assist her with disaster-related costs.
- Todd Fries, a radio professional who was diagnosed with brain cancer and who received financial assistance from the Broadcasters Foundation to cover expenses related to treatment and cost of living.
- Jimmy Moore, a local television photojournalist who was driving to work when he was struck by a loose tire on the road. The crash left Jimmy paralyzed and unable to work; his wife, Jaime Moore, applied for a financial grant through the Broadcasters Foundation and are now receiving ongoing assistance to cover medical costs and living expenses.
- Dusty Street, a Los Angeles-area radio disc jockey who was left unemployed after her radio station switched formats. Dusty incurred significant medical-related expenses due to several spinal surgeries, which Medicare did not cover in full. A grant from the Broadcasters Foundation allowed Dusty to keep her medical benefits and pay down her bills while she looked for a new job.
Industry professionals and members of the public can make a one-time or recurring, tax-deductible donation to the Broadcasters Foundation of America during its Giving Day by clicking or tapping here. Donors can also make a contribution over the phone by calling 1-212-373-8250.
Broadcast professionals who need to apply for a financial grant can email [email protected] or call 1-212-373-8250. More information about applying for financial assistance is available by clicking or tapping here.