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globe santa

Grandparents, caring for 4 little ones, need a big boost

James Hazen, 4, of Boston shared a high five with Globe Santa at Copley Place last week.

Mary O’Connor for The Boston Globe

James Hazen, 4, of Boston shared a high five with Globe Santa at Copley Place last week.

Among the many thousands of letters asking for Globe Santa’s assistance in providing gifts for children are a number from grandparents who have been suddenly faced with the task of having to raise grandchildren.

Many of these grandparents are taking in grandchildren while grieving the loss of a son or daughter, or dealing with the helplessness of being unable to free a child from the destructive grip of alcohol or drug addiction.

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One North Shore couple said in their letter to Globe Santa that they assumed custody of their four grandchildren last February. The children’s parents simply “aren’t able to care for them at this time,” the letter said.

The children — three girls, ages 6, 4 and 1, and a 3-year-old boy — have brought them great joy, their grandmother wrote, but she and her husband live on a fixed income and were already struggling to make ends meet.

The children deserve a merry Christmas, she wrote, and without Globe Santa’s help she fears they would face another sad day instead.

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The oldest girl, who has autism, loves to build things with her hands, finding “arts and crafts to be very helpful in expressing herself,” the grandmother wrote, and she and her 4-year-old sister enjoy playing with dolls.

Their grandson is a typical little boy, her letter continued, with passions that include playing with “trucks, cars, and action figures.”

“The children have been through so much in the last year and they are just beginning to feel settled in our home,” she wrote. “We would appreciate any help offered by Globe Santa.”

With the family on Globe Santa’s list, the grandmother’s hope of seeing her grandchildren’s eyes light up on Christmas morning will be fulfilled.

Since the fund drive was launched in 1956, Globe Santa has delivered toys, books, stocking stuffers, games, and other presents to thousands of families across Eastern Massachusetts who celebrate the Santa Claus tradition but cannot afford gifts for their children.

But Globe Santa is only able to bring happiness to these children thanks to the thousands of individuals, groups, businesses, and others who donate to the campaign, many of whom give as part of their own holiday tradition, or because they remember Globe Santa from their childhood.

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