Clark's Christmas Kids Reaches Goal of Providing Gifts for 9,100 Children in Foster Care

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Clark Howard and Cox Media Group Atlanta's News 95.5 and AM750 WSB (WSB-AM/WSBB-FM), in partnership with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, successfully fulfilled Christmas lists from more than 9,100 children in foster care during Clark's Christmas Kids. In the program's 27-year history, it was the most ambitious goal to date.

Events to collect donations and gifts took place over the course of two weeks at seven Walmart locations in the metro Atlanta area. Each event included a live broadcast on News 95.5 and AM750 WSB featuring Clark Howard with special appearances from other WSB Radio hosts, as well as news anchors from Channel 2 (WSB-TV) and on-air talent from CMG's 97.1 The River (WSRV) and KISS 104.1 (WALR). The outpouring of support from the community was overwhelming.  In addition to the number of gifts purchased and donated at each location, more than $265,000 in monetary donations was raised in just four days to make up the difference resulting from three canceled events due to snow.

Virginia Pryor, the Interim Director of Georgia DFCS, said, "Days ago, we were concerned that weather may have put a damper on our efforts to provide gifts for youth in foster care this holiday season.  But Georgians showed up – raising more than $265,000 in four days – and made sure we put a smile on the faces of more than 9,100 of our kids who are spending this year's holiday away from home."  She continued, "I am blown away by the response to our call for help and by the demonstration of pure love and compassion by each person who stepped up and gave of themselves for this cause.  I am especially grateful for Clark Howard, who has been tireless in his efforts to support Georgia's foster children for more than 25 years, and for our partners at Walmart and St. Vincent de Paul Georgia who make this event possible each year."

"Once again the people of Georgia demonstrated their incredible care and generosity in helping over 9,100 kids have a special Christmas," said John A. Berry, Chief Executive Officer of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia.  "Despite snow that cancelled three of our events, our amazing volunteers made it happen from shopping to warehouse sorting and delivery.  It was an unbelievable team effort led, as always, by the one and only Clark Howard, the heart and soul of Christmas Kids for 27 years."

Clark Howard said of the accomplishment, "I am grateful and stunned. I was amazed at the enormous response Sunday, our largest ever single donation day, but at the same time, I was deflated knowing that we finished Sunday with 2,000 of Georgia's foster children having the prospect of no gifts to open on Christmas morning. But our listeners responded!  Their incredibly generous cash donations have closed the gap, and now more than 9,100 children will have their Christmas wishes fulfilled."

Condace Pressley, WSB Radio's Manager of Program Operations and Community Affairs, added, "Like Clark, I was worried for the kids.  As of Sunday, there were still so many Christmas wish lists and so few people to shop for them after the snow. But WSB listeners are the BEST PEOPLE EVER – coming through for Clark's Christmas Kids yet again.  May God bless each and every donor."

CMG Atlanta and WSB Radio thank Walmart and St. Vincent de Paul Georgia for their invaluable help in coordinating this year's effort, as well as our sponsors, SCANA Energy and The Goddard School.