WBZ-TV anchor Kate Merrill gave Globe Santa a hand at Wayside Shopping Center.
WBZ-TV anchor Kate Merrill gave Globe Santa a hand at Wayside Shopping Center.
Mary O’Connor for the Boston Globe

Virtually every letter Globe Santa receives each year is asking for his assistance in providing gifts for children in a family that has been hit by financial hard times or a tragic death or accident.

The theme of each of the thousands of letters processed reflects some sort of a tragedy or a hard luck situation, like parents losing their jobs or a home that has been hit by fire and they have lost most of their personal possessions.

But every now and then there is a letter, the Santa staffers say, that is just unbelievable.

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Such was a neatly typed letter from a south of Boston man relating a situation that is so tragic it is almost impossible to fathom how any family could endure.

The letter “to request Globe Santa donations” for the man’s nephews outlines a series of tragedies that have left two boys, 7 and 11 years old, with no parents and no grandmother.

The letter points out that the mother of the two boys was killed when she was struck by a train.

Then the family lost a grandmother: she was the victim of cancer.

The note from the uncle seeking Globe Santa’s help states that, “they lived with their Dad, who then died in his sleep quite suddenly” early this year.

“They are wonderful resilient children but they have suffered greatly over the past year,” the letter said.

The man adds that he and his brother now have shared custody of the two children and they are living with the writer in his apartment.

“I would appreciate any donations for Christmas as my budget is limited and there are minimal resources,” he says.

“These boys are facing a lifetime without parents and I am trying to do the best for them.”

“Bringing some added joy this holiday season would be wonderful,” the letter concludes.

Helping families like this is what the Globe Santa program, now in its 57th year, is all about.

Thanks to millions of Santa Friends over these many years Globe Santa is able to answer such pleas for help.