WDFH To Air Documentary on Midnight Run
This documentary was distributed nationally in the Fall of 2006 on the Pacifica Radio Network program Sprouts.
You can listen to the documentary here.
A half-hour-long documentary on Midnight Run, a Westchester-based homeless support organization, will be broadcast on WDFH, 90.3 FM, on Tuesday, July 11, at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, July 15, at 3:00 pm.
Midnight Run, located on Main Street in Dobbs Ferry, sends groups of volunteers — or “runners” — to Manhattan with donated food and clothing for the street homeless almost nightly, with multiple trips or “runs” on weekends. The experience of going on a run involves interacting one on one with homeless clients, and volunteers agree that it’s a deep, even life-changing experience.
Christine Potter, a member of the WDFH air staff and its Community Affairs Coordinator, was allowed to go on a run as both a reporter and a volunteer. As part of the documentary, she interviewed Dale Williams, Midnight Run’s Executive Director, who was hired by the organization when he was homeless himself. His first experience with the group came as a client when he was “sleeping on a park bench,” he said.
“Dale was an amazing interview,” said Christine. “What’s as intense as his story is what happens to people who participate in runs. It’s impossible to think about the homeless poor the same way once you’ve participated in a run.”
The documentary charts a run as well as Christine’s own journey from nervousness and preconceived notions to gratitude at being able to help. Christine talked to Midnight Run volunteers — from junior-high-school student Jacob Lowy to Joel Ross, a.k.a. “The Soup Nazi.” Giant thermoses of soup are an important part of every Midnight Run, and Joel tells just how to get it just right. And Jacob’s open-hearted friendliness with the street poor in New York City is a model for one of Midnight Run’s objectives: to make it hard for people with homes to look at the street homeless as a faceless other.
Marc Sophos, WDFH’s Executive Director and producer of this documentary, spent many hours working with Christine, editing the interviews and helping shape it into a polished final product. “This kind of documentary is very labor-intensive,” he said, adding “I’m proud of what we accomplished. Christine did wonderful work, and the documentary will help listeners understand the Midnight Run experience — and perhaps even prompt them to volunteer with Midnight Run themselves.
Hear what a Midnight Run really is on WDFH-FM, 90.3, the community radio alternative for the lower Hudson River Valley, and wdfh.org. Airtimes are Tuesday, July 11, at 6:30 pm, immediately following Free Speech Radio News, and Saturday, July 15, at 3:00 pm. The documentary will also be available on WDFH’s web site at wdfh.org.
WDFH is the lower Hudson River valley’s grassroots, independent, noncommercial community radio station. It’s one of only about 200 such stations nationwide and is operated by local community volunteers.
WDFH broadcasts an ever-expanding mix of rock, folk, blues, jazz, world, and other types of music. It is also committed to developing significant local news and public affairs coverage. Current program offerings include In Focus, a local public affairs discussion program, and Recovery Talk, a pioneering program about recovery from addiction, illness, loss, and trauma. (WDFH plans to begin podcasting these talk programs soon.) The station, which is affiliated with the Pacifica Radio Network, also broadcasts documentaries, lectures, discussions, media critiques, and two daily newsmagazines, Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News. WDFH’s extensive 2004 political coverage attracted national attention when the National Federation of Community Broadcasters cited it in comments filed with the FCC in connection with the Commission’s ongoing inquiry into broadcast localism.
WDFH’s transmitter is located in Ossining and the station can currently be heard there and in nearby communities in Westchester and Rockland counties on 90.3 FM.