City Union Mission Delivers Record Number of Christmas Gifts

Dec 24, 2016

The Rev. Dan Doty says he expects the number of people seeking help at Christmas to continue rising each year.
Credit Danny Wood/KCUR 89-3

City Union Mission, a Christian charity, says it distributed nearly 20,000 gifts to struggling Kansas Citians this Christmas, more than ever before.

The Rev. Dan Doty says during 40 years of its Christmas program, City Union Mission has never received more requests for help or given out more gifts. One-thousand twenty-one families, or a total of about 5,000 people, received presents, up 20 percent over 2015.

At their Christmas Store in Kansas City, MO, City Union Mission staff and volunteers prepare Christmas bags for delivery to local families.
Credit City Union Mission

“A lot of times it is a mom with a family and no other option to have Christmas," he says. "But it’s a lot of poor families in the community too that just don’t have enough income coming in to really supply Christmas.”

Nearly 300 volunteers helped deliver Christmas bags directly to about 500 Kansas City homes. Each bag included a household item like a vacuum or a toaster, together with turkey for Christmas dinner. 

Doty says he expects the need to continue growing each year.

“We still live in a time where there aren’t a lot of livable wages for people that don’t have a lot of education or training, so the need is going to continue, I’m afraid.”