CLEVELAND — Back in April, WKYC Studios took on the challenge of collecting 10,000 reusable face masks for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
It was a stretch goal, for sure. To make it happen, we needed to find caring people who knew how to sew, and get them to donate their time (as well as fabric and elastic!) to our cause.
Today, the campaign concluded with WKYC blasting past its goal. Once the numbers were tallied, we learned that our viewers have provided more than 13,000 masks for employees and volunteers who are part of the Food Bank’s vast distribution network.
Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling was the driving force behind the campaign, and this week she could be found literally driving all around the Northeast Ohio region to collect the donated masks sewn by WKYC viewers.
Today, she put 150 miles on her car as she drove from Painesville to Parma and points in between. She met viewers like Joanne Harris of Solon, who had 660 hand-sewn masks ready for pickup; she collected another 250 at Old South Church of Christ in Willoughby, where members said they wanted to help because their church operates a food pantry.
When she pulled into work at the end of her four-hour road trip, Betsy was amazed to find hundreds more donated masks had been dropped off in WKYC’s lobby.
"I’ve had a long day but look at this," she marveled, gesturing to a mountain of masks on the set of her 5 pm What’s New show. "There are literally millions of stitches and hundreds of hours that have been put on this table, and I can’t thank people enough."
It’s all a testament to the love and work ethic of Northeast Ohioans, agreed her "What's New" co-host Jay Crawford.