Since Tuesday, November 28, (a.k.a #GivingTuesday) we’ve shared stories of people and organizations who are standing up to be hand raisers and game changers for families in need this holiday season.
 
The count is on! Only two days remain in the “12 Days of Giving” series, and more families are hoping for our help. We have heard your requests to share a little more about how the United Christmas Service program works, so…
 
As Indiana native, David Letterman, would say, “Here’s your Top Ten!”
 
10. United Christmas Service is a United Way direct assistance program connecting the generous donations of individuals and groups with families in need during the holiday season.
 
9. In 1952, United Christmas Service was conceived under the belief that no one should be without basic needs and children should not be without toys during the holiday season.
 
8. With “Merry Money” a family of four receives a onetime use voucher of $120 (or $30 for a single individual) to be exchanged in a variety of local stores to help their family purchase basic needs items such as clothing, food and toys.
 
7. United Christmas Service is unique because it is the only local program of its kind in Central Indiana serving both adults and children during the holiday season.
 
6. Individuals and families participating are referred by one of over 800 trained caseworkers from a United Way’s referral partner. We verify these referrals to help prevent duplication of services, allowing us to help the maximum number of people.
 
5. Families qualifying to receive support are selected based on the household’s challenges to meeting their basic needs.
 
4. United Christmas Service assists families living in Marion, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Boone & Morgan counties. In 2016, we distributed over $400,000 and assisted 4,129 families.
 
3. United Way of Central Indiana does not include a “sponsor-a-family” option, but we will match interested groups with a United Way agency for this experience. We can serve many more people with the “Merry Money” vouchers.
 
2. In the next fifteen days, United Christmas Service must raise $200,000 to be able to serve the outstanding 2,000 families still looking for assistance!
 
1. To give online, visit uwci.org/ucs or send a check made payable to: United Christmas Service, PO Box 88409, Indianapolis, IN 46208.
 
Our song is almost complete
 
On the tenth Day of Giving, United Way gave to me… ten fun facts, nine special memories, eight Santa hats, seven Honda engines, six more families served, five volunteer hours, four Christmas ornaments, three Merry Money vouchers, two cheerful bothers, and one way to help my community.