There are neighborhoods plagued by violence and high poverty rates in every large city, and Boston is no exception.
But in these neighborhoods live innumerable hard-working parents who do their best to shield their children from danger and set a good example. Still, their sons and daughters are more likely than most to encounter loss at a young age.
On Christmas Day — at the absolute least — their children deserve a break.
“The past few months have been very hard on my family,” a mother from Boston wrote to Globe Santa. “My children have lost two of their uncles and one of their cousins survived a gunshot.” The mother reached out to Globe Santa on behalf of her 8-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter, and 1-year-old son. The two older children had only recently begun to discuss their feelings about the death of a sister a few years ago, their mother wrote, when the violence rocked their world.
“My children are my heart, and I try my best as a mother to give them everything that they need. They never ask for anything,” she wrote. “Please help me see them smile on Christmas morning.”
For a single mother from a city north of Boston, her two young sons, ages 7 and 8, have been stung by loss as well. Their father died two years ago at age 39. “Two years ago this September, we lost their father to cancer,” the mother wrote.
It was the children’s first day of school, she wrote. “Since then it seems like my boys have gone through so much.”
Like most young boys, the two were very close to their father, she wrote, and it’s been a heart-wrenching task to try and guide them through the grieving process.
With just enough money coming every month to pay the rent for their apartment (and keep up with the clothing and dietary needs of two fast-growing boys), the widowed mother wrote to Globe Santa in hopes that her boys would have presents to unwrap on Christmas.
“I would just like to give them a good Christmas this year and lift their spirits a little bit,” her letter concluded. “I could go on and on about all the hard times these kids have gone through, but I’m sure you read enough sad situations so I’ll stop there. I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter.”
These two families will join tens of thousands of others on Globe Santa’s list this season. For nearly 60 years, the Globe Santa campaign has delivered toys, books, stocking stuffers, games, and candy to families throughout Eastern Massachusetts that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition but cannot afford presents.
Thanks to the thousands of individuals, groups, businesses, and others who donate to the campaign some $1.3 million was raised last year and more than 49,000 children in 28,000 families received a visit from Globe Santa. Every dollar donated to Globe Santa buys and delivers presents to children.