When the responsibility for raising children is borne by just one parent, it’s a tough task, whether that parent happens to be the mother or the father.
“I’m writing for my 5-year-old son because I believe he deserves so much more than I can afford to give him,” a father from a city outside Boston wrote to Globe Santa. “He is a cute, kind, courteous, considerate boy.”
The man has maintained a home for his 5-year-old and the boy’s older brother, who is 18 and attends college on a scholarship, the proud father wrote.
But it has been a struggle since 2010, when many of his plans and his dreams changed in an instant.
“My son’s mother died three years ago on December 23,” the father wrote.
Working in construction has allowed him to keep a roof over their heads, he said in his letter, but the costs of child care, books, and other expenses for his older son, and, of course, clothing and food, exhaust everything that comes in.
“It takes pretty much my whole paycheck to run our house and pay for his after-school program,” he wrote.
As any parent would, he wants his son to find at least a small stack of presents under their Christmas tree, particularly since the youngster has had to learn at an early age that extras, which for his 5-year-old can mean a new toy or even a trip to the pizza shop, do not come easily.
“I give him as much as I can and try also to teach him the value of money, and what it takes to earn it,” the letter continued.
Echoing many of those who wrote to Globe Santa this year, the single father swallowed his pride because, as hard as he works, without help his son would most likely have to hide his disappointment rather than break into a big smile on Christmas morning.
And for a child who does a whole lot of giving already, his father concluded, what a joy it would be to see him receive.
“He is an excellent kindergarten student and is always the first to offer help to others,” the boy’s father wrote. “It’s hard for me to ask for help, but I feel for my son. He is truly an amazing kid.”
This young boy will join tens of thousands of other children in receiving a visit from Globe Santa this year, thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups, and local businesses that donate to the fund drive, many of whom making giving to Globe Santa a part of their holiday tradition.
Since 1956, when Globe Santa visited 6,200 households in Greater Boston, the campaign has delivered toys, books, and stocking stuffers to families across Eastern Massachusetts.
Last year, some $1.3 million was raised and more than 49,000 children in 28,000 families celebrated a merrier Christmas.
The Boston Globe Foundation pays all administrative costs associated with the fund drive, so 100 percent of the money donated to Globe Santa is used to buy and deliver presents to children.