United Christmas Service helps families in need - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

United Christmas Service helps families in need

Posted: Updated:
The UCS gets thousands of requests for assistance. The UCS gets thousands of requests for assistance.
Witchey, Vounteer Center Director for the United Way Witchey, Vounteer Center Director for the United Way
Joan Marsden, a volunteer for United Christmas Service for 29 years, says the need is greater than ever this year. Joan Marsden, a volunteer for United Christmas Service for 29 years, says the need is greater than ever this year.

Angela Cain/WTHR Community Affairs

Indianapolis - Some central Indiana children will not have anything under their Christmas tree this holiday season. It's a luxury their families cannot afford. But you can help make their seasons bright through the United Christmas Service.

The Christmas Room is a place dressed in holiday style and filled with the holiday spirit. This room at United Way of Central Indiana is filled with Santa's elves - but they're not necessarily in costume. They are staff and volunteers for the United Christmas Service, a United Way campaign, making seasons bright for families in need.

"The United Christmas Service provides Christmas assistance to people who cannot afford it and would otherwise simply not have a holiday at all," said Alan Witchey, Vounteer Center Director for the United Way.

In the Christmas room, workers pore through boxes filled with applications for holiday help.

Joan Marsden, a volunteer for United Christmas Service for 29 years, says the need is greater than ever this year.

"It is pretty tough and I have had tears in my eyes today already because of the fact that we have so many. In a tougher economy, these applications hold stories of job loss, medical crises, low wages, and deaths in the family, all causing crushing financial blows. It's overwhelming, really. It's very overwhelming. I keep saying, as I read, how are these people making it? How do they do it?" 

Marsden shared with us some of the stories of need. "We have a single mother and she just had surgery and she is unable to work and her husband just recently passed away and she has a couple of children, actually six children. This one here, Angela, says my son's father died. And they always went shopping together, he and the child. And now I'm left with no one to help me. And I know it will be very hard for him without his father. I have never asked for help. But this year, I need it badly."

United Christmas Service gives money to thousands of families in need for food, clothing or toys. But it's not possible without your donations.

"Everything helps. We have cash donations of ten dollars up to several thousand dollars. We're trying to raise $725,000 to help people, so absolutely any amount counts" said Witchey. "People in Indianapolis usually come through. They're very, very giving."

Your giving means the world to children in need at Christmas time with many families calling or writing to United Way each year to say thank you. Last year the organization helped over 33,000 families.

There are three ways you can give to the United Christmas Service. Donate money through the mail or online, adopt a family by going shopping and delivering gifts to their home or buy a Sunrise Cookbook at area Marsh Stores to benefit United Christmas Service. Call 317-924-1454 or click here for info.

Powered by WorldNow