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Each year Globe Santa delivers gifts to thousands of deserving children throughout Greater Boston.
Each year Globe Santa delivers gifts to thousands of deserving children throughout Greater Boston.The Boston Globe

After the death of her daughter in February, the grandmother from a South Shore town had to take over the care of her three grandsons since their father is in jail.

She is among the many relatives and friends who find that they must step in to raise children left without parents.

In her letter to Globe Santa, she described how family tragedy has led to emotional and financial difficulty.

She now has permanent custody of the boys, she said.

“I had to leave my full-time job as a manager in retail to raise all three of her boys,” the grandmother said.

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“All I receive is their Social Security from their mother’s death,” she said. It amounts to $1,350 a month.

“That is my income,” she said.

The impact on her and her grandsons is emotional as well.

“My grandsons are going through a great loss,” she said.

“I want to make my grandsons’ holidays special, especially since it’s their first Christmas without their mother,” she told Globe Santa. “I would so appreciate your generosity and kindness.”

Of course, the South Shore grandmother is not the only loved one who has to take on parenting responsibilities due to tragedy.

A woman who lives south of Boston told Globe Santa that she has faced a similar situation.

“About two years ago I stepped in and took on a huge responsibility,” she said. “My best friend has battled addiction and I stepped in and took in my godson.”

She has since become his permanent guardian, she said.

Owners Celina Cruz (front left) and Conrad Traut (back left) joined warehouse workers with Northeastern Assembly Inc. at Globe Santa’s packaging and shipping center in Avon.
Owners Celina Cruz (front left) and Conrad Traut (back left) joined warehouse workers with Northeastern Assembly Inc. at Globe Santa’s packaging and shipping center in Avon.JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

“I myself am on disability which financially makes it a little more difficult especially around the holidays. . . . He is a good boy and has been doing amazing given the bumps in his road.”

“I appreciate your consideration,” she said.

And finally, a grandmother who lives south of Boston has been raising her grandson for a year and a half since the death of her son, the boy’s father.

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“He misses his Dad very much,” said the grandmother, who has custody of the boy, “and with the little money we receive it is extremely difficult for me to provide him with everything his Dad did.”

The grandmother said she has applied for Veterans Administration and military benefits for her grandson but the request has not yet been approved.

“Thank you for thinking of him,” the grandmother said. “This is getting harder each [year] for him without his best friend – HIS DAD.”

Globe Santa knows that life is tough when children are left without their parents and other loved ones have to take on the responsibility of raising the young ones.

These children will not be disappointed Christmas morning. They will get the gifts their caregivers have requested.

Each year Globe Santa delivers gifts to thousands of deserving children throughout Greater Boston.

Please consider donating to the case either by mail, phone, or online at globesanta.org.

* * *

The 25th annual Walter’s Run, the Parkway Running Club’s December 5K, which raises money for Globe Santa and two other charities, will take place Sunday, starting and ending at 15 Bellevue St., West Roxbury, behind the Parkway Community YMCA.

A half-mile Kids’ Fun Run will kick off at 10:15 a.m. and the adult race will start at 11. Number pickup and race-day registration for both runs will be held at the Irish Social Club, 119 Park St., West Roxbury, starting at 9:15 a.m.

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Runners can register before race day at www.WaltersRun.org. The cost for the 5K is $28 for preregistration and $30 on race day. The kids’ run is free, but kids must register for it.

Formerly known as the Santa Scamper, the race was renamed for Walter Burgess, an active member of the running club, who died suddenly in 2003 at the age of 40. In addition to Globe Santa, the race contributes money to the Parkway Community YMCA’s annual fund, which helps provide access to the Y for families in need. The race also funds scholarships in Burgess’s name to send young runners to a summer running camp.


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