Christmas Bureau Starts Taking Applicants

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Numbers may show the economy improving, but plenty of people continue struggling, as evidenced by the long line Friday morning at Topeka's Antioch Family Life Center.

It was the first day of intake for the United Way of Greater Topeka's annual Christmas Bureau. The community effort is meant to ensure no one goes without gifts and a holiday meal for Christmas.

Tom Baumgartner, director of volunteer engagement for the United Way of Greater Topeka, says the organization expects to see a high number of individuals and families applying for help again this year.

This is the 71st year for the Christmas Bureau. Once intake closes, community members will be asked to "adopt" the families and deliver gifts and food to them.

Individuals and families must meet income guidelines, and the intake process includes reviewing income documentation and identification for each person in the household.

Intake hours are from 9 am to 1 pm Nov. 2 and 3, and again Nov. 5 thru 10 at Antioch Family Life Center, 1921 SE Indiana Ave. People also may apply at Let's Help, 200 S. Kansas, from 3 to 7 pm Nov. 2 and Nov. 5 through 9, and from 9 am to 1 pm Nov. 3 and 10.

To qualify, families must meet the following income guidelines:
Family size Income
1 $16,775
2 $22,695
3 $28,635
4 $34,575
5 $40,515
6 $46,455
7 $52,395
8 $58,335
*Add $5940 for each additional family member

As documentation, people should bring all of the following which apply:
-Employment check stubs from the past 30 days
-SSI, SSC, SSDI or SRS award letter
-Veteran's benefit documentation
-Unemployment direct deposit verification letter
-Child support documentation
-Bank statements showing income deposits
-Medical or Health Wave card for children