7 On Your Side helps Ida victims from NJ collect $5,000 radio show prize

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022
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A New Jersey family who lost their home to Ida's floodwaters had hope after a radio show promised $5,000 to help them rebuild. Nina has the story.

MANVILLE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Last fall, a New Jersey family barely survived after their home was submerged by Ida's surge.

They thought they lucked into a lifeline, though, winning thousands on a popular morning radio show. But weeks later, the family still hadn't received anything, so they turned to 7 On Your Side.

Darrell and Melissa Newell lost their Manville home of seven years, gutted under 13 feet of water. The pre-dawn deluge sent the family of four into survival mode.

They were left with a big cleanup and a six-figure bill of at least $200,000 to rebuild.

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But then came some seemingly good news, as Darrell's favorite radio show was giving money to its most needy listeners.

He wrote in, and after the Breakfast Club heard his family's story, they made a most generous offer of $5,000.

"I was very, very humbled," Darrell said.

It was money the family needed after FEMA denied their claim because they had flood insurance. But flood insurance only gave them $10,000 for all their house's contents.

But Darrell said the Breakfast Club's cash never arrived. He posted on all three DJs' social media pages, emailed and called.

"Nothing, I heard nothing," he said. "I've had no other communication around it."

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So we contacted the station's parent company, iHeartMedia, which said it had reached out to the family three times in December but never heard back.

"I never received anything," Darrell said.

But days after our calls, a check arrived for the full amount to the Newells rebuild their life.

"I listened to my mommy and she said call Nina," Melissa said. "So we called Nina, and Nina got it done."

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