Smiles, hugs and tears make the holidays sweeter

Milliman's United Christmas Service partnership continues for its 24th year

In 1989, our Indianapolis office of Milliman decided to start a new holiday tradition. Instead of the usual holiday party with a gift exchange of trite and goofy gifts, we decided to do something  more useful.

While trying to decide what that new tradition might be, our office manager heard a radio commercial for United Christmas Service and what they were trying to do for families with the greatest needs in the Indianapolis area. This was exactly what we were looking for, and the relationship between the Indianapolis office of Milliman and United Christmas Service was formed.

Since that first year, we have sponsored a total of 44 families in the Indianapolis area. Our support for United Christmas Service has grown as our office staff has grown, and each year we look forward to working with more families to help make their holidays brighter.

Learn more about United Christmas Service

Once we are matched with families that have been referred to Christmas Service by a caseworker, I  contact that family's  social workers to get basic background information and then find out details about the kids’ needs and wants.

I create a sign-up sheet from those wants and needs and individuals in the office either make a cash donation or sign up for what they would like to purchase, wrap and bring back to await delivery.  Each family is provided with the following:

  • New coat, hat, gloves
  • New shoes
  • 2 school uniforms (or 2 outfits if not in school)
  • Toys for each child
  • Personalized stockings filled with personal hygiene items and small toys
  • Pajamas
  • Socks & Underwear
  • Bath towel set
  • Laundry basket filled with laundry soap and cleaning supplies
  • Food items to cook their own holiday dinner

The experience brings our employees together each year and we are faced with how fortunate we are to have what we have and thankful that we are able to help others who are less fortunate.

It is always special to receive heartfelt hugs of appreciation and maybe see a tear or two from moms and dads — and sometimes grandparents — who would not otherwise be able to provide gifts for their children. I encourage anyone who is able to participate to get involved because those smiles, hugs and even the tears, will make your holidays that much sweeter.

Veronica Phillippe, administrative assistant, Milliman