After three days of camping on the corner of 5th Ave. and 10th Street, WCHS-Fox television news reporter Dee Delancey retains his sense of humor.Delancey
camped out to help the United Way reach their fund-raising goal.
HUNTINGTON -- His
black hair, matted and dirty, was hidden underneath a Marshall University ball cap.His
eyes, bloodshot and tired, stared at the passing cars as he
held a cigarette in a shaky hand.
Exhaustion and the cold had taken their toll.After two nights sleeping in a tent in downtown Huntington, television news reporter Dee DeLancey was ready to go home, but he had helped the United Way of the River Cities get $72,000 closer to its fund-raising goal.DeLancey
three-day vigil at 6 p.m. Wednesday.He
sat up a tent Monday near the United Way sign at Bank One
, on the northwest corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street, hoping to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people and others who depend on agencies supported by the United Way.
DeLancey's efforts worked, said Kheng McGuire, executive director of the United Way.The organization received approximately $72,000 during DeLancey's effort.
"I'm hurting right now," DeLancey
normally clean-shaven face rough with stubble."That's after three days and two nights.There are people that do this every day."DeLancey
, a reporter for WCHS
11, took to the streets after hearing about the United Way needing $100,000 to reach its $1.9 million annual fund-raising goal.The United Way supports 39 nonprofit agencies that provide a variety of services to the community.
After two nights in 20-degree cold, DeLancey
wondered how homeless people survive.People from local businesses and passersby brought DeLancey coffee, doughnuts, pizza and meat trays, he
nights on the street only provided a glimpse of being homeless, he
"I had better living conditions, really, than the so-called homeless," he
said."That's what's frightening.I had a tent.I had bathrooms I could use during the day."
Wearing boots, thermal socks, jeans, layers of flannel shirts and a coat, DeLancey
still felt the cold, especially at night, he
said.Sleep was difficult to come by -- 30 minutes Monday night, on and off Tuesday night, he
"You start to feel guilty," DeLancey
said."You're going through all these emotions.It gets lonely, and it hurts, but I had a full stomach."
Although DeLancey's efforts put the United Way closer to its goal, he's
hoping the giving won't stop.
"I'm going to be leaving this tent, but that doesn't mean people aren't still out there," DeLancey
said."There are still women being abused and kids without clothes to wear to school."
The United Way still needs $28,000 to meet its goal, McGuire said.After layoffs in the area this year, the United Way lost approximately $88,000 in pledges.DeLancey's effort encouraged people who had never given to United Way to contribute, McGuire said.