Beth Neuhoff

neuhoff-beth-headshot

Beth Neuhoff

You never think it will happen to you: unspeakable tragedy, devastating illness, the sudden death of a loved one, a reversal of fortune. And yet daily, as broadcasters, we hear and tell stories of tremendous loss, never imagining it could be our own.  

WHEN IT HAPPENED TO ME, I was 42. My husband, Geoff, died suddenly leaving me lost, devastated and too young to be what I was – a widow. And I was lucky. I had a job, a safety net and people there to help me navigate through my darkest hour. I learned very quickly that many, many people aren’t as fortunate. I met other young widows on my journey, women who not only lost a spouse and children’s father, but their source of income. All at once, bad luck snowballed into losing a home, choosing which child eats dinner or wondering where the family will sleep that night. Perhaps this year’s senseless shooting of reporters in Roanoke was as close as we’ve come as an industry to collectively experiencing such loss. As much good fortune as we all have to be in this fantastic industry, nothing insulates us from calamity. I hope in reading this letter you realize if you have a safety net, you are lucky, too. So many of our fellow broadcasters do not have such luck. They are just a disaster and one missed paycheck away from total chaos. Without the Broadcasters Foundation of America, the sole charitable organization dedicated to radio and television, these nameless, faceless colleagues would have nowhere to turn. The grants received by fellow broadcasters in their time of need are not given without thorough consideration. These are not handouts. These grants are truly a “hand up” to friends who, until now, feel forgotten by the industry they helped to build. Don’t we have an obligation to pay our own good fortune forward? Won’t you join me in supporting this incredibly worthy cause? Please consider making a donation to the Guardian Fund and count your blessings to be on the giving end. Your help and concern will mean more than you could ever know. I promise.

 

— Beth Neuhoff

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