Syndies Get Charitable
Tyra Banks, Rachael Ray among talk show hosts reaching out during the holiday season
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/6/2008 7:00:00 AM
Just in time for the holidays, syndicated shows and their hosts are doing a little extra to help those in need.
Talk-show hosts Tyra Banks and Rachael Ray teamed up to gather food for New York City's City Harvest, which each week helps feed more than 260,000 New Yorkers while servicing more than 600 food pantries and homeless shelters.
Fans coming to their shows are asked to bring donations of canned food. As of Dec. 3, the shows' "If You Can…We Can" programs had gathered nearly 5,000 pounds of food. With an 8,000-pound donation from Boston Market and 50,000 cans from Del Monte, the program expects to donate around 65,000 pounds of food. Ray's non-profit organization, Yum-o!, works to feed hungry kids while raising awareness about hunger in America.
Banks and Ray aren't the only hosts with their minds on charity in these tough times. Through her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres has raised $1.2 million for Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, which is building homes for needy families in post-Katrina New Orleans, where DeGeneres has roots.
DeGeneres also is hosting her sixth annual Toys for Tots drive. Last year, the show raised $1 million for Toys for Tots and hopes to top that number this year. Each day from now until Christmas, audience members are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to the studio with them. Zizzle Toys, the company behind Hooked on Phonics electronic learning toys, already has donated $250,000 to the organization to get Ellen on its way toward beating last year's mark.
Bonnie Hunt also joined Ellen's toy hunt.
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