Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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Penny Pitch

The recipient of WOWO’s 73rd annual Penny Pitch is Crosswinds Counseling.

Crosswinds Counseling of Fort Wayne is looking to raise funds to provide 300 hours of free counseling for people and families in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley Counties, which the organization says is more needed than ever thanks to the stress and anxiety involved with this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

“The CDC had warned that the COVID-19 outbreak could increase stress, fear, and anxiety, which makes sense—children and adults alike experienced sudden displacement and were isolated from their normal routines and supports,” the organization’s Penny Pitch application reads. “In addition, they are facing continued uncertainties surrounding employment, finances, childcare, and so on. Combine that with other current events across our nation and it’s no wonder that 40% of adults in our country are struggling with mental health or substance use, according to a recent CDC study.”

“In 2012, Crosswinds was launched to bring counseling and support to those who might not otherwise seek help due to pride, embarrassment, schedules, childcare, finances, or other barriers,” their application continues. “Armed with the goal of helping families reclaim control, rebuild relationships, and restore hope, Crosswinds is meeting the needs of individuals and families in a revolutionary way—by bringing services to clients when and where they need it most, whether it’s in their homes, their schools, our offices, or online.”

Unlike in years past, where there is a specific fundraising goal, Crosswinds says the number of people helped by the free counseling they plan to offer will specifically depend on how much money is raised in this year’s fundraiser.

WOWO will collect donations through the end of the year, highlighted by a two-day radiothon on December 10th and 11th. WOWO will also be accepting donations online at WOWO.com and during the Christmas on Broadway event in Fort Wayne on November 20th.

UPCOMING EVENTS

November 20, 5 p.m. – WOWO staff and volunteers will be out at the annual Christmas on Broadway event at Broadway Plaza, in front of the Shine and Hardin law offices.

December 10 & 11, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. – WOWO staffers and Crosswinds Counseling volunteers will participate in a live radiothon. Donations will be accepted over the phone in addition to at WOWO.com, and special guests will appear throughout the broadcast to make their own donations and challenge others to follow suit.

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The History of Penny Pitch: 

Since 1948, WOWO has asked people throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan to contribute pennies, nickels, dimes or more to help families within the WOWO listening area.

Penny Pitch began after World War II when a simple request came to WOWO to help a young quadriplegic buy a special typewriter so he could pursue a writing career.

A request was made over the air for listeners to donate their pennies. The response was so overwhelming that more than enough was raised to help the young man.

Thus, Penny Pitch was born.

Over the next few years, momentum grew as the Tri-State area adopted Penny Pitch as their own local charitable effort. Each year, local families were chosen as the recipients of Penny Pitch.

Funds continued to grow until it became necessary to incorporate Penny Pitch into a non-profit corporation providing benefits for those who contribute large amounts.

Now, over 70 years after the first Penny Pitch began, the corporation provides grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations that serve disadvantaged people in the Fort Wayne, Allen County and Northeast Indiana region.

As the longest running local charity benefiting area families, Penny Pitch is loved by listeners who give generously every year.

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