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Globe Santa

Hard-working mom will get a helping hand

Can’t stretch budget for gifts

Maisie Gronenmeyer (left) and Lilly Fraim visited Saint Nick at a Globe Santa event Sunday at Jordan Hall in Boston.

CECILLE JOAN AVILA FOR THE GLOBE

Maisie Gronenmeyer (left) and Lilly Fraim visited Saint Nick at a Globe Santa event Sunday at Jordan Hall in Boston.

For the mother of two children from a town west of Boston, going through a divorce has meant more than just accepting that “happily ever after” did not turn out the way she had dreamed it would.

It was also a call to action, as the young woman soon realized that child support payments and her limited income were not going to be enough to support her 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. She returned to school and is studying full time at Framingham State College. She works part time at a law firm, but the psychology major said she hopes to enter the fields of child services or social services after she graduates.

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“I knew that the only way to provide for my children was to get the education I needed,” the mother wrote in a letter to Globe Santa. “And because of my background and personal experience, wanting to help others in these circumstances is something that I am really looking forward to!”

In the meantime, however, her financial circumstances force hard choices. She has not visited her mother in their native country of Peru in six years and she cannot remember the last time the family took a vacation.

But she has faith that her hard work will pay off and is proud of the example she is setting for her children.

“I wanted to show my children that despite the circumstances that life may put you through, you always need to keep fighting and moving forward,” she wrote. “I wanted them to know that sometimes hard times bring you brighter futures, but we have to work for it!”

Her job at the law firm gives her the flexibility to attend classes, and she is grateful to work in a vibrant, professional setting with supportive people, her letter continued. Still, as a part-time employee, she has no paid holidays and her salary is more than consumed by the family’s monthly expenses.

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“Being a full-time student, working, and being a mom, which is a full-time job itself, it’s not easy. In fact, it can be very stressful at times,” she wrote.

As Christmas drew closer, she could not stop thinking that her children had already sacrificed a great deal and deserved more than she could give in return. So the proud mother wrote to Globe Santa for help.

“The holiday season is probably the toughest time of year for us,” she said in her letter. “Yet my children are constantly smiling and enjoy having each other. They are respectful, loving, and caring. There is so much more I could write, but I hope that this is enough for you to understand our situation and our need for help this holiday season.”

These two children will be among the tens of thousands who receive a visit from Globe Santa this year, thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups, and businesses that donate to the fund drive, many of whom make 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 other gifts to families throughout Eastern Massachusetts that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition.

Last year, some $1.3 million was raised and more than 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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