In just a few minutes, I'll be heading out the door... from KING TV to Union Hall, to spend a few minutes talking with the Aerospace Machinists Union. Over the last 10 years they have become an unofficial yet important part of our annual event. Below is a (not quite word for word) copy of my presentation. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 11th 2010
Good morning, my name is Betsy Robertson and have the honor of serving KING 5 Television as Manager of Community Relations. The single biggest project I undertake each year is Home Team Harvest.
Home Team Harvest was started in 2001 in the months following 9/11 to address a serious need in the community. The economy was stalled, people were out of work, we were all scared – and KING 5 actively sought out a way to take away some of that despair. Putting a simple meal on the table of someone who would otherwise go hungry – especially at this time of year – seemed like a good way to start.
So, we started.
And we started small… collecting donations on the street corner outside of our building one Friday morning. But it was something! And every year since then – we’ve grown.
Since 2001, Home Team Harvest has raised:
• 1.5 million pounds of food
• $1.1 million dollars
• That is equal to 7.2 million meals
When we started planning for this year’s Home Team Harvest – a little bell went off.
First, we realized it would be our 10th annual event… so it should be something special.
Then we looked back at the numbers.
We’re 2.7 million meals away from reaching 10 million in 10 years! It’s a catchy phrase… (and we love catchy phrases in television!) But it was more than that. It was a way honor to the event, and REALLY make a meaningful difference to hungry people in our state.
Because – since 2001, the need hasn’t decreased… it’s gone up.
• Unemployment continues to drive people to food banks. Statewide, Northwest Harvest is seeing numbers 35% higher than when the recession started.
• 16% of Washington’s children under 18 live below the federal poverty level.
• Slightly more than 1 in 7 Washingtonians relies on food stamps.
So where do all of you come in?
Truly, the Aerospace Machinists Union has become as much a part of Home Team Harvest as anyone else. It’s never been an official partnership, but you should know how much we appreciate you and have come to depend on you for your leadership on location each year. You’re the ones out there directing traffic and carrying those big bags of food from trunks to trucks.
I hope you’ll be back to help us THIS December 4th… because we need you – we need LOTS of volunteers.
We’ve expanded the number of sites we collect at, from 5 to 8!
We’ll be at our traditional locations: Everett, Northgate, Redmond, Tacoma and the US Bank in Auburn.
The new sites are at Alderwood, Westfield Southcenter and Kitsap Mall out in Silverdale.
I hope to see a few of you there!