TOPEKA -- The gap is 1400 and counting for the Christmas Bureau.
There are more families who need help than there are people who can help them. In 2008, the Christmas Bureau provided assistance to just over 2700 households in the community. This year, nearly 2900 households have registered for assistance through the intake process, which ended November 19. To date, 1,400 households are still hoping to be adopted. The average household is about three individuals.
Wednesday and Thursday marks the annual Cumulus Radio-a-thon with Majic 107.7 from 7:00 in the morning, until 7:00 in the evening.. during which United Way hopes to adopt out the majority of families still waiting with the Christmas Bureau.
“We’re seeing requests for basic necessities topping Christmas wish lists,” said Kathy Busch, volunteer center director for United Way. “Even kids are asking for socks and underwear. A lot of singles want nothing more than food.”
The last day to adopt is Friday. For those interested in helping but pressed for time or unable to adopt an entire household, United Way also collects cash donations. Volunteer shoppers helps ensure these dollars become gifts under the tree for those in need. Contributions should be made to the United Way between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 1315 SW Arrowhead or to Cumulus on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How to Adopt a Family:
Online: To adopt an individual or family through United Way’s Christmas Bureau, the quickest way is to visit United Way’s website and select the Christmas Bureau link on the left side of the page. A downloadable adoption form is available as well as a family cost table which details how much it costs to adopt various sizes of families.
In Person: One can visit United Way in person to get a form or donate money. United Way’s offices are located at 1315 SW Arrowhead.
Hotline: A hotline is also available for information on adopting 785.273.4801, but due to heavy call volume it may take a few days to be called back.
Other Ways to Help:
Cash Donation: Or, if unable to shop for a family, adopters can also give. Personal shoppers volunteer each year and turn donations into Christmas miracles for people throughout the community. Donors can give in person at United Way’s offices (1315 Arrowhead) or visit www.unitedwaytopeka.org and click the “donate now” button on the right side of the screen.
Radio-a-Thon: Cumulus stations Majic 107.7 holds an annual adopt-a-thon on air to raise awareness and adopt families. The adopt-a-thon will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on December 2 and 3rd at Cumulus Broadcast Corporation.
CD Tradepost: Through the end of November, CD Tradepost is offering its customers 20 percent off their purchase when they donate a minimum of one $5 gift certificate toward the Christmas Bureau. Visit any Topeka CD Tradepost location for details.
Eligibility: To become eligible for the Christmas Bureau, households must not make over 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and provide the following documentation. Registration for new individuals and families in need closed on November 19.
You need to show proof of income;
Social security identification for all applicants (please visit the Christmas Bureau online or in person for a complete list of acceptable documents)
Government issued picture I.D. of the person registering.
If you need health or human services help and did not register for Christmas Bureau, call 2-1-1 to locate other forms of assistance in the community.