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GLOBE SANTA

Budgets and belts ever tighter, families turn to Globe Santa for help

For 67 years Globe Santa, a program of the Boston Globe Foundation, has provided gifts to children in need at holiday time. Please consider giving by phone, mail or online at globesanta.org.

Globe Santa’s motto to “Deliver Joy” is rooted in the notion that every child deserves to experience the joy of receiving a few simple gifts delivered in time for the holidays. Especially children who, without Globe Santa’s help, might receive no gifts at all.

In years like this, with needs greater than ever and budgets especially tight, families struggling to pay for basic real-life necessities turn to Globe Santa for help in creating a little holiday magic.

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“All children look forward to Christmas! Mine do,” writes a Taunton senior of the great-grandchildren in her care, three boys and a girl, all under the age of 11. Retired and living on a limited income, she says, “I provide as best I can.”

“Santa does fill their stockings with Dollar Tree stuff. I give them clothes and shoes they need,” she says, but that is as far as she can go. “Your help this year will make their Xmas happy and joyful. I love their smiles and laughter anytime and every time. Always thankful.”

Globe Santa, a program of the Boston Globe Foundation, has been delivering quality books and toys, and family games, to children in need in Greater Boston for 67 years, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors who, last year alone, gave nearly $1.7 million.

This year’s hardships seem especially cruel, following so closely on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdowns may be over, but the aftereffects of the years of disruption remain, especially the rising cost of what sometimes seems like everything.

“This is my first time in seven years of having children that I need to ask for help in providing for them at Christmas,” writes a Middleboro mother of three boys.

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Things were already tight, she writes, but then her husband’s work hours were cut by 10 hours a week. A reduction in hours means a reduction in pay, and with all other costs rising, she says, “Our one-income family is officially struggling.”

“My husband works very hard to provide but any ‘extras’ like Christmas will put us in debt,” so, for the sake of their three sons, ages 7, 6, and 2, she is asking Globe Santa for help. “Thank you for considering my family and I will most definitely pay it forward when we are in a better place financially.”

The mother of 10-year-old twin boys from Danvers describes the limbo in which so many families find themselves. Her husband, who had been laid off as the pandemic waned, is “in transition to begin a new job” but now they face the challenge of making up for the time and money lost in the period of unemployment.

“As the price of most everything keeps increasing there is very little if anything left for non-essentials,” she says. “Especially during the holiday season this is a worry and a challenge. This program would help fill this need for us, especially this year.”

For a Malden father of two sons, loss piled on loss with the death of his wife in August. “This is their first Christmas without a mom in their life,” he writes. “We are surviving through this tragic loss,” but living paycheck to paycheck, “with rent, clothes and medical expenses, I am barely getting by.”

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“Any help that can assist us,” he says, would “alleviate the stress of the holidays and light up my sons eyes with love and gratitude.”

“I go without,” writes another single father, from Foxboro, “To make sure my sons are taken care of.” This request to Globe Santa is for his younger son, who is 12.

“Anything at all would be greatly appreciated,” he says simply. “He is not hard to please.”

You can help alleviate the stress of the holidays and put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season by visiting www.globesanta.org.

Christopher Tangney can be reached at ctangney22@hotmail.com