The Meridian Family of Stations were recently recognized by Volunteer Mississippi with a Governor's Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award as the "Outstanding Community Outreach by a Media Organization."
The Meridian Family of Stations owner and operator Michael Reed said he was humbled by the award and credited his staff members for their efforts in helping earn the recognition.
"Thank you each and all for making something special out of these TV stations and for helping to pay if forward to others that need our help," Reed wrote in an email to his staff.
The Meridian Family of Stations donates more than $1 million worth of Public Service Announcement production and air time each year through its four broadcast networks of CBS24, NBC30, FOX30 and CBS24 Local AccuWeather, according to a press release.
"In 2012 alone, Community Service Initiatives and PSAs (public service announcements) totaled an estimated $1,057,990," the press release states.
In addition to the broadcast efforts of the television stations, The Meridian Family of Stations allows the staff to volunteer to serve on boards and committees of local nonprofit organizations.
"When I bought these stations, it was one of my significant goals to 'Pay it Forward,'" Reed said. "What that means is trying to do something special for others the way something special has been done for me. It means giving to others the opportunity that I've been blessed with to have started this company and to succeed with it.
"What you do with the things that are given to you is the other challenge. None of us are promised anything, we are not assured of tomorrow, but when much is given, much is expected.
Community efforts the stations were recognized for include spearheading The Golden Apple Awards, which is a partnership with The Meridian Star and many local businesses. The award recognizes K-12 educators and counselors for their outstanding performance and dedication in the classroom in a five-county area in East Mississippi and West Alabama.
Nominations are submitted by students, parents, faculty and other community members. The Golden Apple Partners in Education meet every month to review nominations and select a Teacher of the Month winner. The teacher is surprised at their school and honored with a trophy, $300 cash and a $1,000 certificate for school supplies. Each of the 10 Teachers of the Month will be recognized during a banquet at the end of the school year.
During the banquet, a Teacher of the Year is announced and awarded a trophy, $2,500 cash and a $2,500 scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduating senior in their honor.
In addition, The Meridian Family of Stations also donates PSAs and production time to numerous organizations, including United Way of East Mississippi, The Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity, Hope Village's Run for Hope and The American Heart Association's Heart Ball, jus to name a few.
The GIVE Awards are presented by Volunteer Mississippi in
cooperation with the Office of the Governor to honor the accomplishments of Mississippians who make a difference in their communities and our state each year.
The broadcast initiatives and PSAs of The Meridian Family of Stations reach 13 counties in East Mississippi and West Alabama, impacting more than 106,000 households and 402,800 people.
Golden Apple Teacher of the Month Sponsors:
Meridian Family of Stations
The Meridian Star
First Mississippi Federal Credit Union
Meridian Mutual Federal Credit Union
MUNA Federal Credit Union
East Mississippi Electric Power Association
Meridian Community College
Southern Pipe and Supply
Attorney Richard Schwartz
Mississippi State University Meridian