Brother who lost mom asks Globe Santa to help make Christmas merry for his 1-year-old sister

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison with Meredith Healy, 3, at Copley Place Friday.
Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison with Meredith Healy, 3, at Copley Place Friday.Credit: Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

It’s not that uncommon for the oldest child in a family to look out for younger siblings.

Globe Santa often gets a look at just how selfless these more senior children can be, especially when it comes to Christmas.

“I’m writing for my father, since he doesn’t know how to write in English or how to speak it,” one such older brother wrote in a letter asking Globe Santa to help his 1 year-old sister.

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The boy has been forced to learn all too quickly about responsibility, adversity, and hardship. His mother died a week after she gave birth to his sister.

“Lately there have just been many bills piling in my mailbox,” he wrote. “We’re trying our hardest with this issue to get it off our backs.

“Having said that, I’m only 13 and it’s a lot, but I want to make my sister happy.”

The family of three lives in a city northwest of Boston and has been barely able to stay afloat, both financially and emotionally, since their joy turned to sorrow because of the loss of their beloved mother and wife.

As most anyone who has lost a loved one can attest, holidays, birthdays and other special occasions can be particularly difficult.

Still, the young teen used his letter less to describe their struggles than he did to offer his perspective and strength.

“I would like to set a good example for my sister because, of course, she has no one but me and my dad” he wrote.

Not once in the neatly handwritten note did he mention his own wants, saying instead that his only wish was for his sister to experience the thrill of finding gifts on her first Christmas at home.

“I hope you understand, Globe Santa. I’d be more than happy for her if she received something and maybe this Christmas will be a good one,” his letter concluded.

“My father and I would like to thank you for your kindness.”

This family will be among the thousands that receive a visit from Globe Santa this month thanks to the generosity of all those who donate to the fund drive.

Many of those donors make giving to Globe Santa a part of their holiday tradition.

Last year, some $1.3 million was raised and more than 49,000 children in 28,000 families discovered presents from Globe Santa under their trees.

Requests for assistance are again on pace to exceed 20,000, and donations are needed to ensure that everyone who asks for a visit from Globe Santa is helped.

Please consider donating to the fund drive online at, by mail, or in person at one of Globe Santa’s sleigh stops.

The Boston Globe Foundation pays all of the administrative costs associated with the fund drive, so 100 percent of the money donated to Globe Santa is used to buy and deliver gifts to children.