445 remain: Families in danger of not being adopted

For Immediate Release

Dec. 10, 2013


Mike McLaughlin, Communications Director Phone: 785.228.5117
E-mail: mike.mclaughlin@unitedwaytopeka.org

TOPEKA, KAN. (Dec. 10, 2013) – Despite a strong push from weekend news coverage, 445 households including 1,309 individuals are in danger of not being adopted through the Christmas Bureau this year. With little time remaining, most businesses, agencies and groups have adopted as many families as they can. Some corporate and agency partners have returned more than 100 families to United Way.

“It takes time to match families with adopters and still give them time to shop for a family,” said Shavonne “Weezy” Holmes, co-chair of the Christmas Bureau. “These are deserving people who are on extremely limited incomes, have fallen on hard times due to illness or job loss or who are single parents trying to provide a Christmas for their children.”

Stories of Christmas Bureau applicants range from a veteran whose hop and shoulder were crushed when a bus fell from a jack, to a woman with cancer who may be facing her last Christmas, women escaping abusive situations and whose children are traumatized, to residents of Topeka Housing Authority apartments who ask only for the simplest of items.

In the past, cash donations have enabled the Christmas Bureau to have personal shoppers purchase gifts for the last of the families who were not adopted.

“Donations have not been as plentiful this year, so the need to find adopters for families is even greater,” Holmes explained.

Adopting a single individual costs as little as $55. A family of three costs $125. To donate or adopt a family, visit www.unitedwaytopeka.org and click on the Christmas Bureau banner.

Holmes works each afternoon in the Christmas Bureau headquarters at the United Way office at 1315 SW Arrowhead Road. Volunteers and staff are also available for phone interviews.


United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive sustainable change in our community. By focusing on education, income and health, we help more children graduate and get stable jobs, help families become financially stable and improve the overall health of our community. United Way remains dedicated to Basic Needs including food, shelter, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.