Waiting on a Christmas miracle

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Christmas is only a few weeks away, and some local charities are waiting for their own Christmas miracle.

“This is one of the worst feelings for staff and volunteers,” says United Way director, Kim Ribelin.

The feeling that as Christmas approaches, local non-profits won’t be able to fill a need.
Even after what the Salvation Army and United Way call a successful ‘Giving Tuesday’, both organizations are behind in their Christmas goals.

Topeka’s Red Kettle campaign has raised about 40,000 dollars so far.

“But of our 220,000 dollar goal, that’s only 18 percent. And we have only 18 days left in the campaign,” says Salvation Army director, Beverly Peterson.

The United Way’s ‘Christmas Bureau’ had 700 local families ask for help this year. From there, community members can then ‘adopt’ families in need. But so far, 500 families still need to be adopted.

“We may have to call someone and let them know that there just wasn’t enough resources to make sure that they had a Christmas this year,” says Ribelin.

The deadline was going to be Friday, but United Way has pushed it back a week because…they need help.

“Our goal is never to leave anybody just with a ‘no’,” said Peterson.

But without some big community giving…Both organizations say they might have to and other local non-profits are facing the same issue.

The bottom line- for whatever reason, Topeka just isn’t giving what it has in the past.

But both organizations say, until the final numbers come in, they’re trying to stay optimistic.

“The communities always come through. The donors always come through. So we’re just really depending on that and believing in that right now,” said Peterson.

If you really don’t have any extra cash to spare, you can still give back for free. Both organizations say they’d love your time, and are always looking for volunteers.

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