Inside WRAL

WRAL raises $100,000 for Oklahoma disaster relief

Posted May 31, 2013
Updated June 18, 2013

It started as an interesting idea and resulted in $100,000 for the people of Oklahoma who lost everything in the devastating May tornadoes.

WRAL’s commercial-free, prime-time broadcast of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s "Oklahoma!" was edited to insert live updates from the television studio.

Forty volunteers from the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army of Wake County staffed the phone banks for three and a half hours. All donations benefit those two national organizations currently supporting families in Moore, Okla.

WRAL’s Here to Help: Disaster Relief Telethon was simulcast on statewide public television on UNC-EX.

“This was a true partnership, a uniquely North Carolina way to help those families who are hurting in Oklahoma,” said Steve Hammel, vice president and general manager of WRAL-TV. “The results truly demonstrate the power of local television, both commercial and public, to be both lifelines in the moment of emergency and in the aftermath. We gave our community the opportunity to help and, like so many times before, they rose to the occasion with heart and generosity. This is who we are. It’s what we do.”

Donations can still be made online or by or texting "STORM" to 80888. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS, visit or text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the organization. Texting charges may be added to your cellphone bill.

The commercial-free telethon and Oklahoma! broadcast was made possible with permission from Rodgers & Hammerstein.

1 Comment

Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • blahblahblah May 31, 2013

    Nice job!

About this Blog:

Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.