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KPFA raises $130,000 for Haitian relief

KPFA Haiti relief page

America’s longest running listener supported non-commercial radio station, KPFA-FM in Berkeley, raised  a lot of cash on Wednesday for victims of Haiti’s horrific series of earthquakes.

“In this economy, we would expect a normal day of fundraising to bring in about $45,000. For our Haiti fundraiser we set a goal of $100,000” said KPFA General Manager Lemlem Rijio in a press statement sent to us. “By the time our phone room closed at 8:PM, we had raised over $130,000. That’s an all-time record for KPFA.”

It’s quite something for Pacifica Foundation station  KPFA to do this.  As we’ve reported, the signal implemented across-the-board staff cuts late last year, so fund raising for some other entity would seem to be out of the question, normally. It would also be out of the question, Federal Communications Commission-wise, except the FCC has been giving public radio stations waivers  from its rule prohibiting the practice, as it did during after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina.

KPFA plans to split the donations from the one-day drive between Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health. Doctors has ten medical sites in Haiti, among them one in Port Au Prince’s low income Cite Soleil area. Both groups have been treating people in regions and neighborhoods that other relief agencies have been unwilling to go.

The station plans to continue to take Haiti relief pledges through its website,, through Sunday, January 24.

Kudos to KPFA’s staff, listeners, and to its GM Rijio for getting this done on a dime, practically everyone on a volunteer basis. And half a hooray for us here at Radio Survivor, too. We sent our FCC waiver story to Lemlem and she was on it in a hot second, getting Pacifica radio’s lawyers to apply for the permit ASAP.

“Thanks to you and your email alert to me about the FCC waiver! ” Lemlem wrote to us late Wednesday. No problem KPFA. Glad to help.


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