Christmas Bureau needs help this holiday

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by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 7 at 9:16 AM

AUSTIN -- A group that makes sure many families have a merry Christmas needs your help to make it happen.

Inside its donated South East Austin office space, it finally looks like Christmas is on the way, but for the Christmas Bureau, there's still a long way to go. The organization that provides holiday gifts and meals to thousands of families is 2 1/2 weeks behind schedule.
 
“Our website crashed last week, and we didn't have a location for people to drop off last week,” said Bureau President Shon Washington. “Right now we're in a crunch time. Monetary donations are low this year.“
 
The need for holiday help in Travis County is greater than ever before. This year the Christmas Bureau hopes to help at least 12,000 families and senior citizens.
 
The Bureau desperately needs volunteers, donations of money and gifts, and people willing to adopt needy families. Time is running out.
 
“It's fun to meet a real need that the families have,” Michelle Polk said. 
 
Polk and her friend Kathy Kennedy stopped by to choose families to help this year. They say they weren't sure if the Bureau was going to open. 
 
“It was scary that they couldn't get up and running, and it looked like they weren't going to," Kennedy said.
 
For Washington, making sure each of the applicants are taken care of is a true labor of love. 
 
“I've been a child in need, and having to wake up on Christmas and not have anything," Washington said. "It's important to me. It's important to me.”
 
Starting Wednesday the Christmas Bureau will open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 23. It’s located at 4612 Burleson Road.
 
If you can't stop by, you can donate by PayPal on their website, and the bureau will use that money to buy gift cards and presents.

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