A former Marine, a Vietnam vet with a Purple Heart, nearly froze to death in his house when the temps dipped into the teens.
When WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C., shared his story, someone paid the oil company enough to keep his heat on throughout the winter. And the Publix grocery store chain donated a fridge full of food and supplies when they heard his was empty.
Samantha Bethune: I love reading stories of people helping each other.
WJZY says it’s focused on “getting results.” And it has a whole page on its website of stories like this to prove it.
What if local TV news operations concentrated on finding people in their markets who need help? They could tell their stories and businesses in the community could step up to provide the services needed.
In exchange, the businesses get free publicity for the help they give.
Car dealers could donate a used car. Gas stations could give free fill-ups. Doctors could volunteer free medical exams. Grocery stores could deliver food. Landlords could offer vacant apartments to homeless families.
And since viewers love seeing stories of people helping each other, news viewership would increase.
And one by one, people who find themselves in trouble — broke, sick, down on their luck, unable to pay their bills — will get the help they need and we’ll all feel better knowing that the world is now just a little bit better place.