ABC12 phone bank with Red Cross raises $24,000+ for hurricane relief

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FLINT (WJRT) (9/14/2017) - A phone bank at ABC12 on Thursday raised more than $24,000 for the Red Cross to spend on hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida.

Volunteers from the Red Cross and ABC12 field calls with donations during Thursday's phone bank, which raised more than $24,000 for hurricane relief.

The telethon from noon to 7 p.m., staffed by volunteers from the Red Cross and ABC12. The volunteers took well over 300 donations during the telethon, breaking organizers' expectations for the event.

"The generosity of the people of Mid-Michigan really came out in full force today," said Tony Lasher, the regional executive director for the Red Cross. "We far exceeeded our expectations with this telethon."

The Red Cross has been focused on large-scale shelter and relief operations since Hurricane Harvey hit south Texas during the last week of August. Unprecedented rainfall dumped more than 50 inches in some areas, leading to widespread flooding.

While the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations were responding to that, Hurricane Irma thrashed the west coast of Florida and other nearby states. Sustained winds of over 120 mph and high storm surge caused more widespread damage throughout the region.

The $24,400 raised on Thursday, which includes about $19,000 in direct donations and about $5,000 in pledges, will help both areas recover and begin to rebuild.

"We want to thank everybody and we will steward these resources effectively for the people affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma," Lasher said.