WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - It's been about a week since the rest of America figured out what we here in Region 8 already know, Ryan Vaughan is America's Favorite Weather Forecaster.
In the processes, he had $500 donated to the Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge. The non-profit, 24-hour shelter constantly needs help from the community and that little publicity boost is something they can't say thank you enough for.
Any donation that comes through the doors of the Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge is welcomed, especially when you take into account that it takes $20,000 a month to run the facility.
"51% of our budget, we rely on donations and fundraising," Tonjia Miles with the Children's Shelter told Region 8 News. "That's what keeps us going, monetary donations, food donations and so forth."
Miles explained that after the holidays, things get tough.
"Donations slow down, almost to a grinding halt. Usually in a six day period, we get maybe one or two donations."
This January, things are a bit different.
"We have had hundreds and hundreds of friend requests. People wanting to know what we do and who we are."
It's all thanks to a little contest for America's Favorite Forecaster. Weatherist.com, the site putting on the poll, announced they'd donate $500 to the winner's favorite charity. Region 8 came together, putting Ryan in first and keeping him there throughout most of the contest.
Friday, Ryan won and Saturday, donations started rolling in.
"Because of Ryan, "TEAM RYAN" we've had 22 donations, so far we have $2,160," Miles said.
Those are just donations that have come in through PayPal. An unexpected $2,000+ is a blessing they couldn't have ever imagined.
"it will help us keep our doors open because we are in a constant mode of fundraising," Miles said. "We cannot stay open without our donors and the support of our surrounding communities."
The Children's Shelter has been open since 2009 and served over 600 children in that time. If you want to get involved or give them a donation, head to their Facebook page for more information on how to do that.