Radio station raises $95K for Dégagé Ministries

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iHeart West Michigan held its fourth annual daylong fundraiser, Day of Hope, on Feb. 5, generating more than $95,000 in donations for Grand Rapids homeless shelter Dégagé Ministries. Courtesy Dégagé Ministries

A local radio station raised $95,000 for Dégagé Ministries last month during its annual Day of Hope radiothon.

iHeart West Michigan held its fourth annual daylong fundraiser, Day of Hope, on Feb. 5 on the airwaves of its stations WOOD Radio and The BIG 101.3 FM, generating more than $95,000 in donations for Grand Rapids homeless shelter Dégagé Ministries, according to Dégagé.

Tim Feagan Courtesy Dégagé Ministries

On-air personalities from WOOD Radio and BIG 101.3, as well as representatives from parent company iHeart West Michigan, broadcasted live from 5 a.m.-6 p.m. that day, sharing stories of hope from the men and women Dégagé has served.

Due to the pandemic, the radiothon was not broadcast from Dégagé as in past years but from iHeart studios. Listeners were encouraged to call or donate online to the homeless shelter.

“It’s all about giving back to the community in a real and tangible way,” said Tim Feagan, iHeart Media West Michigan market president. “This year’s Day of Hope demonstrated that even in the midst of a pandemic, with so many suffering, WOOD Radio and The BIG 101.3 listeners used their power to support and benefit a wonderful nonprofit like Dégagé Ministries, (which) is helping so many. And we are proud to say that we do it with no overhead so that 100% of the more than $95,000 raised goes directly to Dégagé.”

Thelma Ensink Courtesy Dégagé Ministries

Proceeds from the daylong fundraiser will be used to meet increased needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the economic crisis, Dégagé has continued its ongoing services but also has added new ones, such as job creation for patrons, hotel stays, extended shelter hours and personal protective equipment.

“We give thanks to God for WOOD Radio, The BIG 101.3 FM and the listeners who made it possible for us to provide programs that bring hope and warmth to the people we serve,” said Thelma Ensink, executive director of Dégagé. “The men and women at Dégagé Ministries can meet their goals such as finding housing and employment because of these gifts. This year’s total of over $95,000 is a testimony to the generosity of this community.”

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