Helping make the season brighter
There has been a united effort to assist families during the holiday season since the Great Depression, when the newspapers printed stories of families’ need. United Christmas Service (UCS) became a program of United Way of Central Indiana in 1952.
Each year, UCS helps those in need during the holiday season. In 2012, more than 25,500 people received food, clothing and toys thanks to your generosity. Without the Indianapolis community's involvement through monetary donations and adopting families, this program wouldn't be the success it is today.
Caseworkers from more than 123 partner organizations refer qualified families to UCS, and our Community Clearinghouse verification system helps prevent duplication of services, allowing us to help the maximum number of people. Since this important program is unique and separate from United Way campaign fundraising activities, your support is vital to continued success.
Families are referred to one of two programs:
- Donor Program / Adopt a Family – Families in greatest need are referred to the Donor Program. They are matched with
Donor Groups, which provide food, clothing and/or toys. Families must be adopted by Wednesday, December 18, 2013.
- Direct Assistance Program – Families that are in need of limited assistance during the holidays are referred to the Direct Assistance Program. Each family receives a restricted voucher that can be used for food, clothing and/or toys based on the number of people in the family. Applicants are subject to a thorough review process.
For referrals - FAMILY REFERRAL DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 27, 2013
United Christmas Service only assists people living in Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, and Morgan counties. If you live in any other county and are seeking help, please contact your local 2-1-1 or local United Way. In order to be considered for assistance through United Christmas Service, you must be referred to the program through a partner organization, where you are currently engaged in services. Also, United Christmas Service vouchers only helps to provide food, clothing, and/or toys. The program does not help with rental assistance, utility bill payments, or with locating housing. For these issues, please contact 2-1-1 or 317.926.4357.
For agencies/schools/nonprofit organizations
All people interested in receiving assistance through United Christmas Service must be referred by caseworkers that have been trained by us. If you are interested in being trained to refer families to United Christmas Service, please contact Lorna McClurkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.921.1287.