WSPA, United Way of the Piedmont raise more than $45,000 to help Upstate storm victims

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – The United Way of the Piedmont set up a phone bank Monday in WSPA’s studio to raise money for storm victims around the Upstate.

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The effort to help those affected in the Upstate turned out to be a big success. Nearly $45,000 were raised in a matter of hours.

As soon as the phone number hit the television screen, the phone lines lit up and the calls didn’t stop for two and a half hours.

“Today was absolutely amazing,” The United Way of the Piedmont’s CEO and President Paige Stephenson said.

Viewers donated more than $13,000, and corporate sponsors donated another $32,000.

The money will go to those impacted by the recent bad weather in the Upstate.

“The first thing we’ll do is we’ll be working with emergency management in the different communities,” Stephenson said.

Assistance will go out in a variety of ways, from paying for hotel rooms, to deposits on new apartments and even helping those with insurance deductibles.

In order to assist as many people as possible, officials will put a cap on the amount each person receives. The criteria for the amount will get ironed out over the next few days.

“You’ve seen that there’s lots of devistation to people’s homes and places of residents. So we want to make sure that those who’ve been displaced are able to get into shelter,” Stephenson said.

Many of the calls coming onto the phone bank were to donate, but those who called for help were directed to call 2-1-1 for United Way.

“We’ll begin to vet through that information to determine the areas that have been hit the hardest then we’ll be reaching out to work with those families,” Stephenson said.

Part of the veting process is to confirm that the storm actually hit in the area where the request is coming from.

“We had the opportunity to be apart of this phone bank and to have the viewers of News Channel 7 reach out and be so amazingly generous,” Stephenson said.

We are still trying to reach our goal of $50,000. Click here to donate!

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