Gift of Warmth telethon, holiday shopping scams, Black Friday deals

Hello all,

Is everyone recovered from the Snowmageddon? I don't know about you, but I was not ready for the amount of snow we got. I was traveling all weekend and didn't even realize it was happening, so Monday's drive through all that snow was less than fun. We just took it nice and slow and didn't worry about our time of arrival, which was several hours later than I expected! But that's what you have to do to stay safe!

There was a positive, though, with all that snow. It served as a reminder of how cold our winters get, right before our ‘Gift of Warmth' Telethon. It was sponsored by DTE Energy and benefited the Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW).

THAW helps keep heat, electricity and water running for so many families in the state of Michigan, and especially here in Metro-Detroit. It also provides other things -- clothing, furnaces, etc. -- that are basic necessities for quality of life for families.

The families we've met who benefit from THAW are truly inspiring. They aren't people who just don't want to work and ask for handouts. They are people who work hard and have fallen on hard times. They've come across circumstances that are unfortunate and out of their own control. They just need a hand up.


Our telethon raised more than $130,000. A big thank you to everyone who called in or clicked online to donate!

I wasn't kidding about being happy about the snow. We hold this telethon every year, and when it's warm out, it's a lot harder to raise money. Giving the ‘Gift of Warmth' isn't the first thing on everyone's minds, so they figure they'll donate later, which we understand. So while everyone else was upset about the snow, my team was doing a tiny happy dance!


We also went to the Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day (NEED), too. It was fun to see all of those volunteers for DTE canvassing Detroit to help bring education to residents about to save energy and money! You can sign up for a free home consultation too!

The Help Me Hank team is heading into an exciting time! We've got our annual Help Me Hank Toy Test coming up and lots of coverage for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Look out next week for our Help Me Hank rescue phone bank. You can call in if you've got a consumer problem you'd like my team to look into.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Stay warm!



Email: helpmehank@wdiv.com


Recall of the week

This is a first: The recalls slowed down this week. We didn't have a ton to choose from, which is shocking. There is a serious one that you should know about, though.

Sullivan Harbor Farm issued a recall for cold smoked salmon due to a potential bacteria contamination.

It's an extremely dangerous bacteria, so don't eat it, even if it doesn't look or smell spoiled.

The salmon was sold between March 9 and Sept. 17 in vacuum-sealed packaging.

No illnesses have been reported, but check those freezers now.

Scam of the week

Be careful while holiday shopping this season. Safety experts are sending out the alert on cyber criminals hovering around your online shopping cart. They steal your data in real-time. As your information goes through the website and your purchase is made final, your credit card number is also being siphoned off to a scammer's server. You don't even know it's happened until they try to use your info.

Make sure you're using secure websites, and never use your debit card when paying online.

Stay vigilant, watching your bank statements to check for issues, too.

Deal of the week

Walmart is already rolling out Black Friday deals online.

It's listing Ninja blenders up to $70 off.

We also saw a RCA 60-inch Smart TV for $180 off.

The store also just released its Black Friday in-store deals, so check those out.

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