For a 3-year-old girl from a community west of Boston, life changed forever last fall when her mother lost a long battle with cancer.
It was seven years ago that the girl’s mother was diagnosed with melanoma. Around the time of her daughter’s birth, the mother’s condition was stable, and she and her husband had high hopes for their future.
But those hopes were dashed just a few months ago.
“Unfortunately, her mother passed away on Sept. 1 after an extremely difficult battle,” a family friend wrote in a letter to Globe Santa. “The disease proved to be too strong and ended up leaving her daughter alone with her father here in the United States, with no other family and a very difficult financial standing.”
The little girl has made quite an impression on everyone who knows her, including the friend who penned the letter in hope that she might find presents under their Christmas tree after a traumatic year.
Since 1956, when Globe Santa visited 6,200 households in Greater Boston, the campaign has delivered toys, books, stocking stuffers, games, and candy to families across Eastern Massachusetts who celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition but cannot afford gifts for their children. Last year, some $1.3 million was raised and more than 49,000 children in 28,000 families discovered presents from Globe Santa under their tree.
“I would first like to thank your organization for all the assistance you provide children during these hard times,” the friend wrote. “I am an old family friend and I am writing on behalf of her father who has very limited fluency in English and her mother, who did not get the chance to finish writing this letter. She is an unbelievably special, loving, kind, and incredibly clever little girl, who has taken an enormous chunk of all the hearts of those close to her.”
Not surprisingly, mother and daughter had established a powerful bond. The little girl and her father surely face a long road ahead.
“Her mother fought with everything she had until the end, trying to survive for her 3-year old daughter,” the letter continued. “ Please consider helping this beautiful child, who is so deserving of finally catching a break in what has proved to be such a tough world for her.”
This 3-year-old girl joins tens of thousands of 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 which make giving to Globe Santa a part of their holiday tradition.
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.