‘60 Minutes’ story on homeless children in Florida spurs $1 million in donations

“60 Minutes” doesn’t often do updates unless it re-airs an old story. But it will this weekend because of the overwhelming response to its story on homeless kids living in vehicles in Florida.

Since the piece aired Nov. 27, offers of cash, housing and even scholarships have poured in. The children in the story “didn’t ask for anything,” “60 Minutes” Correspondent Scott Pelley will say this Sunday, according to a transcript. “But since our broadcast, viewers have sent in or promised more than $1 million to help homeless families in Central Florida.”

Three colleges also offered two children in the story, Arielle and Austin Metzger, full scholarships, and all the parents in the story have been offered jobs, according to “60 Minutes.” One of the schools is Stetson University; Arielle wore a Stetson T-shirt in the first story.

“We’ll do several updates a year, but it’s not exactly common,” said “60 Minutes” spokesman Kevin Tedesco. “But in this case, within two weeks there has been a large enough outpouring of offers to help that we felt we needed to let our audience know.”

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  • Anonymous

    This is the power of the media, so lacking in all aspects EXCEPT for CBS and 60 Minutes.  This story could affect anybody.  It struck a nerve.  I’m so proud and happy for the people that stepped up to lend a hand.  Good Karma has a way of paying back BIG.  Thank you to the donors.  Merry Christmas.
    Who says Americans don’t care?
    I hope CBS follows these families over the years to keep an eye on them.
    BTW, what ever happened to the homeless baritone freeway panhandler that struck it rich?

  • Anonymous

    The underlying tragedy is Uncle Sam’s default in not utilizing the hundreds of vacant government buildings and factories in Florida that could be converted to housing for the families living in cars, trucks and shelters. Local communities will rise to the occasion by supplying the necessary materials and professional carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. to transform these buildings and factories into safe housing at no cost. This plan calls for common sense and motivation. But don’t hold your breath!

  • Anonymous

    Great story even with the griping!  Geez…let a story stand on it’s own merits…good or bad.  In this case, makes the heart feel good.  Thanks 60 Minutes for your many sixty minutes over the years always striving for integrity in broadcast journalism and delivering!  Will look forward to folos on this story!    Oh, and Merry Christmas to all!

  • Nikki Nathan

    The story left me with more questions than answers. The family living in the van with deceased mom, those kids should have been receiving some type of financial assistance (SSI,Social Security), why aren’t they eligible for public housing if dad’s income is so low. The same with the parents that left D.C to move to Florida. They did not provide enough compelling information to state why these parents are in the predicaments they are in now.

    I did not like it, and as a former homeless person as well as one that provides resources to those in transition, I just couldn’t connect all of the dots. I have no doubt these people are having difficult times, but I am uncertain as to why. Again,this was not a well written piece.

  • http://twitter.com/donnapublisher donna myrow

    Why did it take a 60 Minutes expose re homeless children living in vehicles to come to their rescue?  Where’s the department of children and family services in Florida, why haven’t they investigated and assisted the families?  What about the schools and other community agencies?