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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wonderful Day of Giving

Support from local media and TeleTech came together Wednesday when a telephone fundraiser was held to raise money to support the Red Cross response to Hurricane Harvey.
The event was coordinated by Katherine Schaefer, Events Manager for the Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross. The effort began on Monday with discussions and coordination and it all came together Wednesday at the TeleTech Corporate Center in Englewood, CO.
All day on Wednesday our team of 150 volunteers, both Red Cross and corporate/private volunteers, answered 3,574 calls raising a total of $260,000. That amount was matched by corporate donations of $245,000 to result in a grand total of $505,000 all earmarked for supporting the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey disaster relief.
TeleTech, an international call center corporation, provided the facility and call lines for the event. They also provided close to 75 volunteers. Also taking calls Hikmet Ersek, CEO for Western Union, to answer the out-pouring of support for the Red Cross. Volunteers were also provided by the Avalanche Hockey Team, The Nuggets Basketball Team, Barber-Nichols, Level3, Davis, Graham & Stubbs, Anadarko, Western Union Foundation, DCP Midstream, Littleton Public Schools and Centurylink.
There was an air of excitement and adrenaline as call takers accepted the calls. At times it was competitive as Colorado Avalanche Wing Matt Neito and Defenseman Erik Johnson came and answered calls at the Red Cross Telethon. They were competitive in their fund raising. Matt was getting pledges of $5-$10, while Erik was getting $100-$200 donations. At this moment Matt is listening to Erik take a $100 phone call. He turned around and said incredulously; "Seriously Dude! Another $100?"

Torrey Craig(R) with Rocky (L) and
our own Josette Valdez-Negley at TeleTech
Nuggets basketball player Torrey Craig and Rocky the mascot helped excite everyone. Torrey expressed his concern for the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey and was pleased when he saw the compassion demonstrated by the many donations.

Colorado First Lady Robin Hickenlooper joined in the festivities to added credence to the effort and to express her concerns for the people suffering along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Corporate support played a big role in this effort providing $245,000 matching funds. Much of the matching funds were generated from employee giving.
Western Union - $100, 000
CDHP - $70,000
DCP Midstream - $50,000
Liberty Oilfield Services - $25,000

Western Union Foundation Executive Director, Elizabeth Roscoe was on hand to help with the telethon and said, "This is great to see and we are happy to be a part of something that will help the people that have suffered so much."

Probably the single most influential participants were local Denver media who alerted their viewers to the challenge being faced by the Red Cross and encouraged donors to call in. Big thanks to:

KDVR, KMGH, FOX31, Telemundo and CBS4 for televising the event with frequent cut-ins during their newscasts. Also KOA Radio was on hand to help promote the event. We could see a surge in calls every time a news broadcast happened.

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