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Globe Santa

Parents under duress keep focus on their kids

From left, John Hancock employees Tom Crohan, Yasmin Cruz, and Tom Samoluk presented Santa a donation Friday.

Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

From left, John Hancock employees Tom Crohan, Yasmin Cruz, and Tom Samoluk presented Santa a donation Friday.

In many of the letters to Globe Santa, parents who are struggling with severe hardships of their own spend nearly all their time talking about their children.

They write because they know the true wonder of Christmas morning takes place only when their children are young — and they don’t want them to miss that magical thrill.

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“I am writing to you for help this year to give my children a great Christmas,” a single mother from the South Shore wrote. “My children have been through so much.”

Her 10 year-old son loves to read and has shown an affinity for art, spending his free time sketching and drawing. The boy’s 7-year-old brother is artistic as well, though not wanting to follow too closely in his older brother’s footsteps, prefers photography, their mother wrote.

“He is just a bundle of energy,” she wrote. “He loves music and taking pictures.”

The two boys may appear not to have lost a beat, but they’ve been forced to take on lots extra responsibilities and forgo some of their favorite activities as their mother struggles to recuperate from a devastating accident.

“I was in a car accident where I was T-boned on the driver’s side by a drunk driver, an accident that has changed not only my life but my children’s lives as well,” she wrote. “I have had to undergo spinal fusion surgery. I have had two strokes and due to post-concussion migraines, I suffer from seizures.”

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Her sons have grown up quickly in the aftermath of the accident and while her physical condition has improved since that awful day, the emotional toll and financial consequences have mounted. She has been unable to work and worries about how to pay the stack of medical bills that serve as another remind her of her plight.

“I am currently on disability and probably will be for the rest of my life,” she wrote.

Fearing that a Christmas holiday without presents would be nothing short of heartbreaking for the two boys who have done so much for her, she wrote to Globe Santa for assistance.

“Through it all my boys have been so strong even through all their worry,” her letter concluded. “Any help you can give this holiday season would be so much appreciated. Thank you for listening.”

This family will join at least 25,000 others throughout Eastern Massachusetts in receiving a visit from Globe Santa this year.

For more than 50 years, the campaign has delivered toys, books, candy, and other gifts to families that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition but cannot afford presents for their children. Last year, more than $1.3 million was raised and 49,000 children in 28,000 families found presents from Globe Santa under their tree.

The Boston Globe Foundation pays all administrative costs associated with the fund drive, so every dollar donated to Globe Santa is used to buy and deliver gifts to children.

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