United Christmas Service helps families in need

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If you want to help a family in need over the holidays, there is a local group that can help you.

It's a sign of the season: beautiful Christmas trees adorning offices and homes across central Indiana. But the giving tree from employees in the Butler Auto Group has a special purpose.

"We were able to adopt some families. We have 37 people that are counting on us for Christmas and we're going to deliver," said Rob Butler, Butler Auto Group.

The Christmas trees - in all five of Butler's dealerships - hold envelopes listing items on the families' wish lists. Butler staff and customers can donate money so staff can shop for and deliver the gifts to families before Christmas Day.

"One of the expectations we have, since everybody's been here so long is, we expect our people to give back to the communities that support us. We weathered a pretty rough time in the car business and now that we've made it through, it's not a big thing, but we want to help other people come through," explained Butler.

Butler says it's still a rocky financial road for some of its customers in a tougher economy.

"You would be surprised, the addresses; the type of people we see that took some serious hits and it's not just the people that you would think. It's across all socioeconomic levels," he said.

The Butler Auto Group found families to adopt and help this season through the United Christmas Service. It's a campaign from the United Way of Central Indiana.

Inside United Way is the Christmas room. It's a place where workers verify families who are most in need during the holidays.

More than 100 community service agencies refer families to United Way for help during the holidays.

"A lot of our families, they're looking for bedding, pots, pans, clothing, food, cleaning supplies, so just your basic necessities," said Mary Jones, United Way of Central Indiana.

United Way says some families are hurting because they're still unemployed or underemployed.

"So they can pay their rent, their utilities, but they really have nothing left to celebrate Christmas with their families," said Jones.

The United Christmas Service hopes Hoosiers will adopt a family and shop for them or donate money so families can shop for their own clothing, toys and food - gifts that feed their spirits.

"Just to know that one day, they're gonna have food, they're gonna be able to put a smile on the faces of those that they love," said Jones.

"It's a good thing to take care of people in Indianapolis; your friends and your neighbors. That's what Hoosiers do," said Butler.

To learn more about adopting a family or donating money to the United Christmas Service, click here or call 317-921-1372.

You can also buy a Sunrise Cookbook at area Marsh stores. Proceeds benefit UCS. United Way hopes to help 7,000 needy families.