By Bailee Harris
“When we first discussed having a telethon, we had no idea if anyone would watch or if they would give,” says Terri Sparkman, DeSoto County Community Relations Coordinator. “We are so grateful that people did watch, they did give, and we appreciate our matching donors.”
In a display of generosity, the DeSoto County Dream Center took Giving Tuesday by storm, raising an impressive $42,365 through a four-hour YouTube live telethon. The telethon started at 2 p.m. and ended at 6 p.m., and created awareness about the Dream Center, whose focus is helping the community to “Dream Again” through hope and Christ’s love.
Sparkman adds, “We have open ceilings in our classrooms, and we need more classrooms, so we plan to use these funds toward our campaign to add ceilings and expand.”
Dream Center staff, volunteers, and special guests took center stage, sharing heartfelt testimonies about their lives and the Dream Center as a whole. Blaze Jordan, local baseball sensation, made a surprise appearance, sharing his testimony with elementary students.
Behind the scenes, DeSoto County Career Tech digital media students made a huge impact on the success of the telethon. These students operated the cameras, lights, microphones, and other technology, ensuring that the telethon reached the right audience.
“They were incredible!” Sparkman states. “I had no idea how mature they would be in their knowledge of the equipment and what we were doing. I am sure most of them have never seen a telethon before.”
By the end of the telethon, the Dream Center raised $42,365 through donations. Two anonymous donors and Tyrone Construction matched donations with $10,000.
“The volunteers made the telethon a success. I am proud of the energy that was felt by everyone there participating in it and of course the funds that were raised to help us continue in supporting our community,” Sparkman said.
Coming up on Dec. 9, the Dream Center will be hosting Winter Wonderland. They will host Dream Center families and provide gifts for parents to wrap, crafts for children to create, and a meal for these families to enjoy while hearing the story of Jesus’ birth. Volunteers are needed, as well as donations toward this event.
To learn more about the Dream Center and how to become involved, visit desotodreamcenter.org
To learn more about Giving Tuesday, Click Here.
Note: Bailee Harris is a journalism student at the University of Mississippi-DeSoto and a contributor to DeSoto County News.
Photos below show scenes from the Dream Center Giving Tuesday Telethon (By Bailee Harris)