Neighbors 4 Neighbors is a non-profit organization originally created in 1992 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew by WFOR-TV, CBS4. The relief effort, "Rebuilding: Neighbors Helping Neighbors," consisted of a 15-line phone bank, staffed 18 hours daily with volunteers and station personnel. News reporters and anchors broadcasting live from the phone bank would tell viewers to call the phone bank if they were storm victims in need of help or if they simply wanted to help. Special reports profiling affected families and volunteer efforts also served to motivate viewers into action. The response was overwhelming and the phone bank quickly became a tool in assisting those in crisis. As South Florida recovered, CBS4 management opted to continue Neighbors as part of its community service program. Neighbors became an important resource for all individuals and families facing every day crises.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors has since operated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded through foundation grants and corporate donations and pro bono airtime, staff support and facilities and resources provided by CBS4 and its sister station myTV33 (formerly UPN33). With the power of television as one of its greatest assets, the organization quickly expanded its services beyond hurricane relief and evolved into one of the most effective vehicles for connecting those in need with those who can help. Through the years, the organization has forged a strong relationship with community and business leaders willing to tackle difficult issues.
Research of local television viewers proves, year after year, that Neighbors 4 Neighbors is the most identifiable public service campaign in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. South Florida viewers know Neighbors 4 Neighbors, consider it important, and respond to it in a remarkable way. Here is a sampling of what Neighbors 4 Neighbors has done during the past twenty years:
- Over 5 million calls have been logged in the phone bank
- Over $10.5 million in donations of cash, foods and services have gone to those in need
- Over 550,000 people have participated in the Neighbor's Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays program
- More than 300 local social service agencies receive direct support from Neighbors.
With a staff of five dedicated professionals and scores of volunteers, Neighbors 4 Neighbors can launch an immediate and effective community response to any emergency. Born from a natural disaster, Neighbors 4 Neighbors and CBS4-myTV33’s supportive South Florida viewers have come to the aid of victims of every major hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, accident, terrorist attack, and other major crisis where help was needed–at home, in the U.S. or abroad. Working in partnership with CBS4 and myTV33 News, Neighbors 4 Neighbors also organizes a number of campaigns dealing with the issues that dominate local headlines.