For Immediate Release
UNITED WAY CONTACT
Kimberly Wolff, Director of Volunteer Engagement
UPDATE: Christmas Bureau adoption deadline one week away
TOPEKA, KAN. (Dec. 3, 2015) – It’s not too late to be part of a holiday tradition of giving in Topeka. Almost 300 households are still hoping that someone will step in to brighten their Christmas this year through the Christmas Bureau. December 10 is the deadline for adoptions.
“We still have a large number of single-person adoptees to match—many of them are seniors and really ask for very little,” said Kimberly Wolff, Director of Volunteer Engagement at United Way of Greater Topeka. “Our other challenge right now is finding matches for larger families because it takes more resources to adopt them. That’s why we encourage groups like youth groups, service clubs and extended families to adopt.”
The stories of those who are still waiting for help are diverse and often heartbreaking:
- Grandparents who have taken in their five grandchildren –“We have taken in our grandchildren recently and been trying our best to provide for them. I am disabled and my husband recently suffered a leg injury. Very worried we won’t be able to provide any gifts this holiday.”
- Single mom with two teenage boys –“I am originally from Los Angeles and had to leave because of safety reasons. My husband was violent emotionally and physically. This was not a safe environment for my boys. They love it here in Topeka and never want to go back to where they have nothing but bad memories. I am struggling alone but my boys are happy now and that makes it all worth it.”
- Single dad—“I am a single father of seven kids. I have been disabled for three years. I am able to meet our everyday needs, however, Christmas has always been a struggle. My kids are wonderful and don’t ask for much, and our family would appreciate any help that is available.”
- Single mom who is a disabled Army veteran—“My family is all that matters to me. Seeing my children smile. I adore them. Thank you for helping me where I cannot. It hurts that I cannot give them anything but we are stretched as tight as it is. Bless you.”
- Married couple with six children—“We are a large family and we do our best to provide. Our youngest son has a heart condition that we are continuing a long road of surgeries. We just need a little extra help. Thanks so much.”
- Single female—“I had a house fire last November. I lost everything, including my most prized possession, my 18-year-old daughter. I lost my car and all I came out of the house with was my shirt, no pants, no coat, no shoes, no nothing. It has been extremely hard to live without my daughter. I’m still in shock and grieving. Anything your heart desires to help with will be appreciated. Thank you and most of all, God Bless.” (She is asking only for fire extinguishers and a rechargeable flashlight.)
Here is a summary of those still hoping for a Christmas Bureau match:
Household Type Households People
Single 135 135
2-person household 55 110
3-person household 42 126
4-person household 27 108
5-person household 37 185
6-person household 1 6
Totals 297 670
Adopting a single person, which includes a holiday meal and gifts, costs about $55, with $25 going for food and a recommended maximum of $30 for gifts.
Adoption information and instructions can be found at https://www.unitedwaytopeka.org/work/cb/adopt/ or by calling (785) 581-0234. The table below shows the recommended amounts for each family size.
While the goal is to match an adopter with every family, monetary donations do make it possible for volunteers to shop for those who are not adopted. Donations can be made online at http://andar.unitedwaytopeka.org/xmasgift or brought to the United Way office, 1315 SW Arrowhead Road between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.
ABOUT UNITED WAY
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.
For more than 80 years United Way of Greater Topeka has been improving and changing lives. Since 1980, United Way has invested more than $110 million into the community.