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Globe Santa

Struggling mothers seek help for families from Santa

Kerri Delaney, owner of Babycakes, held Jack Carthas, 3, as she watched Camryn, 5, and Kaleigh Carthas, 7, pick a treat after posing for a photograph with Santa at a Globe Santa event in Quincy on Sunday. At left is Taylor O’Connor, 10.

Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

Kerri Delaney, owner of Babycakes, held Jack Carthas, 3, as she watched Camryn, 5, and Kaleigh Carthas, 7, pick a treat after posing for a photograph with Santa at a Globe Santa event in Quincy on Sunday. At left is Taylor O’Connor, 10.

If there is one common thread that ties together the thousands of letters to Globe Santa, it is this: Amid trying circumstances, and often at the expense of their pride, parents reach out for help in the hopes that their children might share in the wonder of Christmas.

“I am writing to you because I am the mother of two beautiful children whom I wish I could give the world to,” a woman from a community west of Boston said in a request to Globe Santa. “They have been forced to grow up faster than many, but my amazing children are proud of who they are and never complain about what they don’t have.”

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Her 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter have spent a great deal of time in the past two years helping care for her, their mother wrote, as she has undergone medical procedures and battled chronic illness.

“While their friends might be off playing, riding bikes, or vacationing, my children were home, making sure I was OK,” she said in her letter. “This is not exactly the life I had envisioned for my kids, but I could not be any more proud of them.”

With her health improving earlier this year, she was able to return to school and is studying to become a nurse. But she found her budget barely covers the family’s expenses, so she turned to Globe Santa.

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“We have always believed in the spirit of Christmas and have always found ways to help others during the holiday season, because Christmas is about giving,” she concluded. “I am humbled that Globe Santa might choose us, as my children deserve to have the best Christmas ever.”

Another couple, also from a suburban town west of Boston, wrote to Globe Santa on behalf of their four young children.

The mother of a daughter and three sons — ages 10, 7, 5, and 2 — said her husband works as many hours as are available every week, but that the less-than-robust economy often result in an uneven — and unreliable — stream of income. The family has also been affected by “several serious family illnesses.”

“My children have had a horrendous time of unwelcome changes, stressful times, and a lot of major adjustments. We have cut back on all areas of our lives,” the mother wrote. “Please, I would love to see them smile and laugh as they see what Santa brought them this Christmas, instead of wondering why he hasn’t shown up.”

Thanks to the generosity of all those that donate to the fund drive, these families will be among the tens of thousands who receive a visit from Globe Santa this season.

Last year, 49,147 children in 28,058 families throughout Eastern Massachusetts received gifts from Globe Santa.

Globe Santa uses every dollar donated to buy toys for children; The Boston Globe and the Globe Foundation pay all of the administrative costs associated with the campaign.

Donations can be made in person by stopping by Globe Santa’s sleigh, online, or by mail.

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