(By Deborah Parenti) A lot has been written about 2020, and no doubt, much more ink will be spent on that year that changed everything. About the disruption to lives and businesses, the pain and suffering — some apparent, some more stealthy, but in every instance, robbing someone, somewhere and in some way, of pieces of this fragile thing we call life.
Fortunately, the impact on many of us has been more inconvenience and plans interrupted than having our existence and that of loved ones altered in ways that will leave debilitating scars for years to come. I don’t know who said it first, but it’s worth repeating: “This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have.”
Indeed. Because on the flip side, there are many who have suffered immeasurably. And not only because of the pandemic. Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters have also been too much a part of 2020, causing enormous loss, stress, and disruption. That, my friends, is the harsh reality being faced by some, including peers and friends in the broadcast community who find themselves suddenly unable to work due to illness or homes lost to natural disasters, as well as others who have been abruptly left without income due to the death of a breadwinner. And as if that weren’t enough, enter COVID-19.
These are the same people who put heart and soul into encouraging their listeners to donate to the food bank, the coat drive, the holiday toy collection, or the disaster relief fund. They are the marketing and promotion people behind the scenes, turning those on-air appeals into concrete action. Or the managers and sellers who have arranged client participation in events that touch and change lives every year. Check out the Radio Ink tote board to see how much money, goods, and services radio has raised already during this year’s holiday season for any number of important community causes. All because broadcasters have big hearts.
So who’s there for them when the chips are down? Who steps up to the plate to support the radio and television professionals who do so much for so many in their own communities when they need assistance?
It’s the Broadcasters Foundation of America, an organization dedicated to helping broadcasters when times get tough and situations seem hopeless. From one-time emergency grants to ongoing monthly assistance, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is there to assist broadcasters who have been hit with illness, accident, advanced age, or other serious misfortune, including natural disasters.
And they can do it because broadcasters like you care about the community of broadcasters and answer the call to lend a hand to those among us who, often without warning, find themselves in need of support. Now is the time, and we hope you’ll heed the call.
You’re going to be asked for help by many worthy organizations now through the end of the year. Please add the Broadcasters Foundation of America to your list, because when you donate to the foundation, you are also “taking care of family.”
And if you know a broadcaster who needs assistance, please put them in touch with the foundation. They are truly all about being there for broadcasters.
As Jackie DeShannon sang so beautifully years ago, “what the world needs now is love.” As I write, broadcasters are spreading and sharing a lot of love in communities across the country as we go into what for too many will be a most difficult holiday season. That’s because broadcasters know the importance of giving — and how what you give comes back in that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’ve made a difference. Get that feeling. Share the love. Help spread the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Your holidays will be brighter for it.
Please make an online donation today by visiting the Broadcasters Foundation of America. You can also learn more about the work of the foundation here in a recent interview I did with Jim Thompson and Scott Herman from the organization.
Deborah Parenti is the Publisher of Radio Ink Magazine and can be reached at [email protected].