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WAMC HELPS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY

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ALBANY, NY -- WAMC Northeast Public Radio's February 2016 Fund Drive mobilized more than 3,000 listeners to help provide shelter to the homeless and books to children. The first Fund Drive of 2016 ended on 2/5/16 at 8:55 a.m., raising $1,001,660 in five days. The drive also generated awareness about Capital Region homelessness and national literacy issues.

"Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing everyone come together to support OUR station," said Dr. Alan Chartock, WAMC's President and CEO. "WAMC is a great example of what an extended community can do if they set their minds to it. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped us meet our million dollar goal in only five days including donors to The Locked Box, especially The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Foundation, all the challengers, and the listeners who pledged during the drive. Thank you all for keeping the station alive."

WAMC partnered with The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation to provide emergency shelter to the homeless and a safe and warm place to sleep. Joseph's House & Shelter in Troy, NY is different than the stereotypical "two hots and a cot" shelter. It also provides meals, access to personal care, medical and dental care, legal services and other support to keep the homeless off the streets.

Homelessness rates have escalated within WAMC's listening area, as well as nationally. Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent directive to place all homeless in shelters when the temperature drops below 32 degrees has left many shelters unable to meet the demand.

WAMC listeners supported this cause; ensuring that 1,560 nights of shelter will be available for the homeless. One of those listeners, Bonnie Chavin, the President of The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, partnered with WAMC to make this happen. According to Chavin, "Seymour Fox always said, 'See more with Seymour.' It is the hope of this Foundation that with WAMC, we can all...see more possibilities...see more promise.... See more progress."

"This effort shows the power of community." said Joe Donahue, WAMC's Vice President of News and Programming. "The WAMC community came together to support this radio station. But, it also came forward to help the homeless and to aid early literacy programs. It is that spirit that defines family and the generosity of our audience."

WAMC also partnered with Charlesbridge Publishing and Reach Out & Read to promote literacy nationally. Reach Out and Read prepares children to succeed in school by partnering with medical providers to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. At each doctor's appointment the child is given a developmentally-appropriate book to take home and keep. But the program is more than just books. Doctors also empower parents to promote literacy in the home through reading to and with their children.

This partnership provided 1,623 books to children throughout the Northeast.

A complete list of supporters is available at wamc.org. Anyone interested in learning more about the Fund Drive or to get involved should contact Colleen O'Connell, Fund Drive Manager at 465-5233x189.

WAMC Northeast Public Radio is a non-commercial, public radio station and nonprofit organization that presents award-winning news and cultural programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. WAMC's listening area reaches parts of seven states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire; as well as parts of Canada. With over 400,000 monthly listeners, WAMC ranks among the most-listened-to public radio stations in the United States. WAMC is a member of National Public Radio and an affiliate of Public Radio International. For more information on WAMC, please visit our about page or call 518.465.5233.

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