Globe Santa

Short of funds, families seek help for the holidays

Lili “Champ” Thompson, Harlem Globetrotter #1, and Bill Connolly, executive director of Globe Santa, put their own spin on the 100 tickets donated to benefit the fund.
john reynolds for the boston globe
Lili “Champ” Thompson, Harlem Globetrotter #1, and Bill Connolly, executive director of Globe Santa, put their own spin on the 100 tickets donated to benefit the fund.

A mother from a suburb west of Boston has something to celebrate this Christmas.

She and her family have moved out of a homeless shelter and now have permanent housing.

“As you might imagine we are very excited to enjoy our new space,” the woman told Globe Santa in her letter seeking Christmas help for her 5-year-old son. “But we are also having challenges, as this transition also comes with expenses and all the obstacles of adapting to a new school and community.”


She added: “We are doing our best to get stable again and wish to have happy and merry holidays. With your help, Christmas morning will be the one thing we don’t have to worry about.”

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Everyone seeking help from Globe Santa is struggling with hard times. Money is tight, parents are unemployed or under-employed, some are facing illness or other challenges. At times, sacrifice for the good of a child may affect the whole family.

For example, a mother from Boston is seeking Globe Santa’s help for her daughters, who are 12 and 9, because she and her husband are not making enough money to support themselves and their four children and get gifts for the girls.

“It has been a difficult year financially,” she said in her letter to Globe Santa. “We are struggling to make ends meet, to pay the mortgage, energy and heating costs, and water bills.”

Part of the financial strain comes from sending their daughter to private school because she was being bullied in public school. It cost $15,600, but the woman says it was worth it.


“This was the best decision because I believe education is an investment,” she said. “She graduated from that school and is now a freshman in college.”

“Education is very important, and most of the money that we make goes towards taking care of our children and their education.”

The woman said her younger children like to read and do arts and crafts.

“They also love celebrating the holidays and love Santa’s little treats like holiday cookies and snacks.”

Globe Santa will provide gifts for the children in each of these families and for tens of thousands of others as well. Since 1956, the program, which is run by the Boston Globe Foundation, has raised $49 million and given Christmas gifts to 2.8 million children in Greater Boston.


Last year, Globe Santa put Christmas gifts under the tree for 34,325 children from 19,182 families.

But the effort relies on thousands of generous donors, who last year numbered 5,865 and gave more than $1 million.

Please consider giving by mail or phone or online at

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Tom Coakley can be reached at