About Johnson County Christmas Bureau
"More than a history, this is a story of dedicated individuals who have given of their time and of themselves to make the holiday season a little brighter for those less fortunate."
- Ruth Keroher, Shawnee Mission Chapter of AAUW (founding organization)
The Johnson County Christmas Bureau is a 501(C)(3) non-profit, non-denominational agency created to provide the county's low-income families with groceries, personal care items, children's clothing, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, toys, adult and teen gifts and books for the holidays. JCCB began as an adopt-a-family project in 1960 by the Shawnee Mission Chapter of AAUW; the Holiday Shop format was introduced in 1977.
Although Johnson County has a reputation for affluence, the rising level of poverty in the county is swelling the number of families seeking holiday assistance from the Bureau.
At the 2012 Holiday Shop, held over a nine day period in early December, JCCB served 3,461 families, (12,965 individuals), who otherwise would go without during the holiday season. Many are working families trying to make ends meet; more than 86 % percent are women and children. In addition, JCCB served 642 nursing home residents.
Qualifying clients are referred by Kansas SRS, Johnson County Human Services, Johnson County Mental Health, Catholic Community Services, Johnson County Human Service Multi-Purpose Centers, El Centro, schools, religious organizations, Center of Grace, Head Start, and other agencies. Upon completion of an application, clients are given an appointment to shop. With the help of volunteers, clients select a prescribed number of food and gift items pegged to the size of their family. Clients pay a small dignity fee.
All items provided to our clients are new, with the exception of gently used coats and books.
Our volunteers work year-round purchasing items at a discount and seeking new donated items to prepare for each year’s Holiday Shop. Over a two week period from set-up to take-down, more than 3,000 volunteers help at the Holiday Shop, held in donated space.
Won’t You Help Us?
The Bureau is 100 percent dependent on community support. Businesses, service and religious organizations, schools, grants, individuals and the United Way provide our funding. You can help by sponsoring year-round donation drives to collect groceries, personal care items, children's clothing, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, toys, adult and teen gifts and books for the holidays. Click here to see our Wish List.
When you donate your time and/or money to the Christmas Bureau, you help make the holiday season a little brighter for families facing difficult financial times. Thank you!
Making the holidays brighter for low-income Johnson County residents.