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Bert Show Big Thank You effort mobilizes for overseas holiday duty
Q100’s Bert Show namesake Bert Weiss‘ duties weren’t over Wednesday morning after he peed on a pregnancy test during a presumably wacky bit about the early detection of testicular cancer. After Weiss, Jeff Dauler, Jenn Hobby and Kristin Klingshirn got off the air at 10 a.m., they headed up to the seventh floor of their Johnson Ferry Road workplace to help mail hundreds of thousands of thank you letters to U.S. troops stationed overseas in time for Thanksgiving. Each year, throughout October and November, the Bert Show stages The Big Thank You letter-writing campaign for troops.
“We’ve got 210,000 and they’re still pouring in,” Weiss told me Wednesday morning. “This year, with fewer troops stationed overseas, we only needed 200,000 so we’re well past the mark. Logistically, this remains a huge job though. We’re sending these out to more than 800 military bases around the world.”
Pitney Bowles is picking up the pricey postage on the massive mailing endeavor.
Now that the Atlanta-based morning show is syndicated in Nashville, Indianapolis and Brunswick, Georgia, the Bert Show has enlisted listeners and organized distribution points for the letters in all four cities. Last year, first lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton were so moved by the effort that generated more than 650,000 letters for troops, they called into the show to thank listeners for thinking of the the country's military men and women overseas during the holidays.
"The response we received was amazing," Weiss says. "The reason we do this each year is that many of our men and women in the military feel unappreciated, especially around the holidays. This may be the only piece of mail they will receive while they're stationed overseas. It's important to us to make sure that every single individual currently serving in our armed forces will receive a letter from our listeners at Thanksgiving. Honestly, I'm so proud of this community. The Bert Show audience is an active audience and a connected audience. They're built this community over the past decade and it's days like this when we really see the impact of that."
For 2013, Weiss is setting a new goal for The Big Thank You. Explains Weiss: "We want letters from each and every state next year. That's our goal for 2013."