How’d You Get That?

When four sisters in Annandale, Va. launched a local car wash to benefit the Red Cross's relief efforts, they probably never guessed the result would be a media frenzy,
including coverage in The Washington Post and national TV appearances. Yet Ashley, Aubrey, Alana and Alyssa Welch have managed to feed the hunger of the press and the American
people, according to Edelman Account Executive Susanne Hackett. "After all the tragedy, people want to see good things happening. And it's good to see a positive story on American
youth." The Welch sisters started Wash America a few days after September 11 - and raised $10,000 for the Red Cross in their first five hours of operation. A local radio program
picked up the story, and Edelman's Washington office jumped on the chance to offer its services. Edelman DC sent out an email to its corporate offices nationwide, and was
immediately inundated with offers to help. The goal: to get the word out to as many American kids as possible. The Welch girls want "every car in America washed by a kid" before
it gets too cold to continue. Edelman designed a logo and set up the WashAmerica Web site, which allows kids anywhere to sign up and hold their own local Wash America events. The
firm also contacted local press in DC and put a press release on the wire services. Before long, national media outlets were picking up the story and politicians were passing a
Wash America resolution in Congress. So far, Edelman's pro bono efforts on behalf of Wash America have generated coverage on local radio, TimeforKids.com, MTV, MSNBC and in The
Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. The Welch sisters are scheduled to appear on "Oprah," "The Early Show" and the BBC. Kids' Web sites have picked up the
story, and Compaq Computers has signed on along with other corporate sponsors, offering 25 computers to the school that raises the most money with its Wash America event. Best of
all, kids nationwide have embraced the Welches' idea and have raised almost $31,000 for the American Red Cross.