Globe Santa donors give outside the holiday season

Brothers find ways to support their late mother’s cause

For 65 years Globe Santa, a program of the Boston Globe Foundation, has provided gifts to children in need at holiday time. Please consider giving by mail or on line at globesanta.org.

The commitment of the Intoppa brothers to Globe Santa, inspired by their late mother’s belief that every child deserved holiday joy, has led to thousands of dollars in donations triggered by efforts launched outside the traditional holiday fund-raising season.

Lou Intoppa held a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for Globe Santa around his Nov. 2 birthday this year, raising $3,560 from 75 donations. The donations will be listed in memory of his mother Jean, who died in May 2019.


David Intoppa, Lou’s brother, made sure that Globe Santa was the charity listed in their mother’s obituary last year. Nineteen donations from family, friends and Jean’s co-workers came in shortly after she died and two more arrived during last year’s Christmas season totaling $2,075.

Both brothers said that Globe Santa was always high on their mother’s list of programs she believed deserved help.

“I can remember from a very young age my mother giving every year and kind of explaining it to me,” said David. " I think it’s important because we did not have a lot of money, and I know she was struggling to buy gifts for her three kids but always found a way to give to Globe Santa for kids who didn’t have anything."

That was "just the way she was,” said Lou.

Lou said he was happy to see that Globe Santa was on the Facebook Birthday Fundraiser charity list. He said he was disappointed to learn that the annual Globe Santa fundraiser at Giggles Comedy Club in the Prince Pizzeria in Saugus has been cancelled due to the pandemic and hopes his contribution will do a bit to help make up for the loss.


The Intoppas’ experience shows how giving to Globe Santa need not be confined to the holiday season. Every year dozens of contributions arrive outside the season by mail or through the Globe Santa web page — globe santa.org.

Sometimes the contribution is part of a person’s mandatory annual withdrawal from a retirement fund, or it comes as a corporate matching gift from firms such as banks or drug companies.

The donations also come to honor a deceased loved one or a friend.. Givers also celebrate special occasions like a friend’s retirement or a birthday.

Kristen Purdy and her sister Lauren donated to Globe Santa in February as a gift to their mother, Mary, on her birthday.

“Globe Santa is a major tradition in our family,” Kristin said. She said the family has been giving to Globe Santa for decades and now donates in memory of their father and grandparents.

“My sister and I thought our Mom would really appreciate this donation as a birthday gift as opposed to more trinkets and gift cards.”

And their mother loved it, Kristen said.

"We plan on donating again this holiday season too but wanted to give Mom a great birthday gift,” she said.

Kristen forwarded an e-mail her mother sent her after she learned of the February donation.

“You guys are great,” the e-mail said. “Thank you so much. This means a lot to me. As a Mom, knowing that others will have a Christmas for their children warms my heart and soul. You couldn’t have given me a better gift.”


Tom Coakley can be reached at thomas.coakley@globe.com

Thomas Coakley can be reached at thomas.coakley@globe.com.