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Globe Santa

Local families feel the pain of a global pandemic

But they all want their children to experience the happiness of the holidays

For 65 years Globe Santa has been providing holiday gifts to Boston area children. In this time of heightened need, please consider giving by mail or at globesanta.org.

There are as many stories as there are letters in Globe Santa’s mailbox, which at last count already totaled some 10,000 requests for assistance.

But there is one common thread.

Whether due to a lost job, an unexpected illness, or any number of extenuating circumstances, parents, grandparents, and guardians reach out to Globe Santa because they want the children they love to share in the thrill of Christmas morning.

“I am writing for help with my three-year-old grandson,” a grandmother from southeastern Massachusetts said in a letter to Globe Santa. “Without help, I’m afraid I won’t be able to give him much in the way of presents.”

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Theirs is a multi-generational home, her letter continued, as she also cares for her 83-year-old father, whose needs have become more acute in the past few years.

Of course, the family’s routine — and sense of security — has been upended by the pandemic.

“Due to Corona [COVID-19] and my dad’s dementia, I had to quit my job,” the grandmother wrote. “So this Christmas is going to be extremely difficult.”

Despite the financial strain, she included a note of gratitude for the resolution of her grandson’s custody.

“After three years, my adoption of him is final!” she wrote. “My boy has a certain faith in God (and Santa) that I want…him [to] enjoy as long as possible.”

Fortunately, her grandson will join tens of thousands of other children on Globe Santa’s list this Christmas.

The list includes a 12-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother from a city southwest of Boston, whose mother is also caring for a parent.

“I am currently at home taking care of my elderly mother,” she wrote in a letter to Globe Santa. “She needs 24-hour care.”

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Last winter, the mother landed a part-time job that helped pay the monthly bills, but COVID-19 dashed her hopes for a productive year at work.

“The excitement was short-lived as my hours were reduced from 39 hours to 15 hours per week,” she wrote.

Now struggling to keep up with rent and grocery bills, and having seen her children endure months of uncertainty, change, and isolation, she is determined to make the holidays memorable.

“Anything would be appreciated,” her letter concluded. “Nothing is too little.”

In more than six decades, Globe Santa has helped millions of children celebrate Christmas morning with presents under their tree.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups, businesses, school systems, and others who support the fund drive, Globe Santa raised more than $1 million and nearly 30,000 Massachusetts children received gifts from the campaign.

Christopher Tangney can be reached at ctangney22@hotmail.com.