A St. Louis Tradition
For generations, the 100 Neediest Cases campaign has helped thousands of families and individuals during the holidays throughout the St. Louis region. The 100 Neediest Cases tradition began in the 1920s when the Christmas festival provided dinner and toys for those in need. United Way of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have partnered for more than five decades, renaming the campaign 100 Neediest Cases in 1954. Each year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch features 100 cases in the paper. Last year, annual donations to the campaign reached $1.6 million, up from $400 in 1922.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do the cases come from?
More than 50 social service agencies, working through the United Way, identify thousands of families and individuals in need. Volunteers then select 100 cases to be profiled in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The profiles help raise awareness and encourage donations for the thousands of others in need. We make an effort to assist every case in some way.
Can I adopt a family?
Yes, see here for more information on adopting a specific case. Please view the adoption guidelines, here.
Family and individual case adoptions close at the end of 2023; however, monetary donations can still be made to support 100 Neediest Cases. Please visit our donation page to help, today.
Do I have to adopt a case or can I donate directly to the 100 Neediest Cases program?
You can make a donation of any amount to the 100 Neediest Cases program to benefit the thousands of families that receive assistance during the holidays. Your donation helps to ensure all families in need submitted to the program receive some monetary donation. Please visit our donation page to make a donation.
What does it mean to fundraise for 100 Neediest Cases?
Can I donate furniture, clothes or household goods?
This year, agencies may have new or changing delivery and gifting procedures due to COVID-19. After signing up to adopt a family, you will receive contact information for the agency overseeing that specific case. We recommend you contact them as early as possible and again before delivery to discuss their requirements on donating and delivering items. For more information, click here.
Can I donate gift cards?
Some agencies are only accepting gift cards for their adopted families. If you are interested in donating gift cards, please indicate that when you sign up to adopt a family. Please keep in mind geography and need when purchasing gift cards; we recommend gift cards from stores that are located throughout the St. Louis region, like Schnucks, Target, WalMart, etc.
Who runs 100 Neediest Cases?
The 100 Neediest Cases tradition began in the early 1900s when the Christmas festival provided dinner and toys for those in need. Today, United Way of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch continue the tradition of giving local area families a brighter holiday. Volunteers are also an integral part of the 100 Neediest Cases’ success, and they offer support to assist donors in their request for adoptions, input donations, answer phones and review thousands of stories.
How much of my gift goes to the actual cases?
You can feel confident that your gift is making a difference, because every dollar raised for the 100 Neediest Cases program goes to help people. All administrative and fundraising costs are absorbed by United Way of Greater St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and more than 50 area social service agencies.
When does it end?
The program officially kicks off this year in November, with publication in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. However, donations can continue through the end of March 2024.
Can I do this as part of a group?
Yes. The more the merrier!
Donations may be collected by one person and sent in via mail to:
100 Neediest Cases
P.O. Box 955925
St. Louis, MO 63195-5925
Or, sign up as a 100 Neediest Cases fundraiser and share with friends and family via email or social media. Share on social? Don’t let us miss it! Tag 100 Neediest Cases at @100NeediestCases, United Way of Greater St. Louis at @UnitedWaySTL, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at @stltoday (Instagram and Twitter) and @STLPD (Facebook).
Can I send in a check to 100 Neediest Cases?
Yes, please make checks out to 100 Neediest Cases and send to:
100 Neediest Cases
P.O. Box 955925
St. Louis, MO 63195