Local Verizon call center helps with hurricane relief telethon

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – More than 4,000 Verizon employee volunteers are helping aid in hurricane relief efforts.

Volunteers from wireless and landline call centers nationwide, including one in Newport News, will be taking donor calls during the 'Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief' telethon.

“Just knowing that someone will be there will, kind of just, help ease the tension - try to get their mind off the immediate issue they’re having," Damain Dessett told News 3.

It’s a celebrity telethon that will broadcast live, nationally, Tuesday, September 12 from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. ET.

The event will raise funds for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Some employees said the disasters hit close to home.

“I was definitely a little worried. He decided to stay and weather out the storm," Yvonne Potts, whose son was in Florida when IRma hit, said. "This was definitely a great way to give back sense you can’t physically be there.”

Along with donor calls, Verizon donated $2.5M to the event.

“100 percent of the money we are going to raise will be given directly to the hurricane victims and those agencies that are helping out," Alan Payne, the call center's Sales Director, said.

Viewers can also donate to the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund by texting “GIVE” to 80077 on their mobile phones.