Veteran’s family among those asking for holiday help early

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 6, 2014) — An Indianapolis veteran is reaching out for holiday help for the first time this year, as agencies ramp up their efforts early.

Greg Deborde wants to make it a good holiday for his family, especially 6-year-old Lucas. It’s the first time he’s ever found himself needing help, given some unfortunate circumstances this year.

“Everything’s just happened really quick in the past couple months and here we are in the holidays. So, we thought we’d reach out,” Deborde said.

He called the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation and they referred him to United Way’s United Christmas Service, UCS, for help.

“We’ve processed several hundred (applications) already since Monday when we started,” Rachael Candee with UCS said.

Even if it feels too early to think about Christmas, Candee and other agencies can’t start early enough. In recent years they’ve struggled to meet all the needs by the holiday.

“Last year we had 22,200 families that received assistance but there were actually more families than that that applied for assistance and didn’t get it because we didn’t have enough dollars,” Candee said.

If you need help this year, you should reach out now. Either call 211, contact another agency directly or talk to your caseworker to apply through UCS.

Or, if you can help, UCS needs both donations and people to adopt families like Deborde’s. He’s hoping you’ll step up early this year so a kid like Lucas can have a happy holiday.

“Thank you so dearly, especially for Lucas here. Not so much for us, but just to bring a smile to his face and make his Christmas a good one,” Deborde said.

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