Gift Card Drive Raises $146,000
by Carmen Brown
The JOY FM’s The Morning Cruise spearheaded a gift card drive to collect cards for the victims of the tornados in Northeast Alabama. With just a few weeks to pull it off, the staff organized a three-hour drive at various Chik-fil-A restaurants throughout their listening area As they were organizing the drive, The Patterson Foundation of Sarasota stepped up and said they would match up to $33,000 of what The JOY FM raised. The goal for the drive then became $33,000. When The JOY FM asked listeners to respond with a gift card for the victims, they expected a good response. What they didn’t expect were gifts totaling $146,000. Carmen Brown, a native of Jacksonville, Alabama and The JOY FM’s program director, felt a personal calling to reach out. “I knew my JOY FM listening family would be willing to help folks in the devastated area so near the town where I grew up.”
Through a series of “well-orchestrated events,” Brown’s phrase for the uncanny way connections were made, the station learned that the congregation of First Baptist Church of Williams, Alabama were directing many of the relief efforts in the Pleasant Valley area of Northeast Alabama, where more than 100 homes were completely destroyed and thousands are still recovering. The station went into action, asking listeners for gift cards to Lowes, Wal Mart, Home Depot and other national stores. On Wednesday, May 25 Brown and her morning co-hosts Dave Cruse and Bill Martin will be at First Baptist Church of Williams in a special service where the gift cards will be presented. Provident Label Group artist Building 429’s Jason Roy will perform an acoustic set.