It may be Black Friday in pop culture and consumerism, but KVMR 89.5 FM is taking an entirely different tact on the day after Thanksgiving this year.
"Mood At Shelters Is Grim" headlined the San Francisco Chronicle last weekend. It hurt -- a lot -- to hear that. And with thousands and thousands of people made homeless by the Camp Fire, and even those whose homes survived in Paradise are now without water, electricity and other vital services, it isn't exactly a homecoming.
So here's still a different way to bring some smiles to those shelters.
"Instead of braving lines and fighting for parking places to purchase those things you might not even need, why not give a gift that really matters to our neighbors, many of whom have lost everything in the tragic fire?" asked the Nevada City community radio station's Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly.
All day this coming Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the community radio station will be taking contributions -- of any and all sizes -- to show its listeners' support for its neighbors and everyone affected by the blaze that is now considered the most devastating in recorded California history.
This pitch has nothing to do with KVMR membership, according to Kelly.
"We simply want those who feel somewhat helpless, wherever they may be, that we at KVMR are here to guide your money from us to the North State Community Foundation," noted Kelly.
KVMR 89.5 FM Program Director Steve Baker helped select the group, saying "they are at the front lines working for fire victims, they are based in Chico, they are there already there doing great work."
This is only the second time this century that the station has interrupted regular programming to raise funds for those in crisis, according to Baker. Even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has changed regulations to allow community radio broadcasters to raise funds for a third party, under certain circumstances.
"We were there for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on a Saturday in 2005," he recalled. "It was astonishing, with $60,000 raised by concerned listeners who realized we were their place to show support."
No, that is not the station's goal, Fridays traditionally raise less, but Kelly has put out a $10,000 mark. May that get doubled. Or more.
Just get her started, though, and you can feel why she -- and several other staff members -- will be at KVMR during a holiday Friday just to bring the message to you.
--"We all have thoughts and prayers for our Paradise neighbors experiencing loss and displacement this holiday season," Kelly said. "But it's just as easy to call now and actually provide help, where we are providing 100% of our proceeds to Camp Fire disaster relief with no administrative costs from us"
--"Many people celebrate 'Black Friday'" as 'Buy Nothing Day," but here Friday we are encouraging our listeners to simply pick up the phone and make a gift in honor of the survivors of California's most devastating fire in recorded history," according to Kelly.
--"Now let's be clear. This is not a KVMR fundraiser," she pointed out. "Friday we focus on raising money for our neighbors whose entire community burned to the ground. They have nowhere to go home to. What they need is money to tide them over as they rebuild their lives."
--"Be a ray of light in a Camp Fire survivor's life Friday, spend some money on something really important. They lost their homes, jobs, community and loved ones in this tragic fire. And you can make a real difference Friday by making a contribution."
A KVMR staff meeting was winding up, everybody was standing when somebody brought up the possibility of doing a benefit for nearby fire victims and, suddenly, everybody sat down again.
"It just took off," Kelly recalled. "We thought why not fund raise on 'Black Friday' and it just seemed a natural."
As in...you don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to bring anything any place, all you need to do is call KVMR at 530/265-9555 this Friday.
Listeners to The Bridge 105.7 FM are also encouraged to call KVMR and make a donation to help fire victims as well.
"It's all well and good to participate in clothing and food drives for victims of the devastating Camp Fire, but what many people really need is money right now to cover travel and immediate housing expenses," said Kelly. "Be an angel (dollar a day to KVMR), a Californian who can share this holiday season ."
Hey, every buck goes to a deserving family or provides them with vital services.
Think about it.
KNOW & HEAR
WHAT: KVMR Special "Black Friday" to raise funds for Camp Fire victims, with donations going to North State Community Foundation
WHEN: Friday, November 23rd, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: KVMR 89.5 FM, Truckee 105.1 FM, kvmr.org streaming
INFORMATION: 265-9073 or kvmr.org