Grandparents seek holiday joy for selfless girl, 10
For many of the parents and guardians who reach out to Globe Santa for help, making the request demands all the humility they possess. Countless notes are from men and women who have long taken pride in helping others and who had never imagined they would be the ones in need.
“This is the hardest letter I have ever written,’’ a grandmother from the South Shore wrote. “My husband and I are the guardian grandparents for the greatest 10-year-old girl in the world. While we have managed to scrimp and save for her Christmas for the last few years, there is simply no money for 2011.’’
After the financial crisis of 2008 left her husband unemployed, both landed assorted odd jobs over the last few years, but neither has found a full-time position. It is an unfamiliar and unsettling spot, she wrote, having always believed that honesty, effort, and perseverance would surely equate to some security in life.
“Both of us have worked our whole lives, and we never thought we’d find ourselves in this position,’’ she wrote. “In years past, we have been the ones donating or packing our granddaughter’s outgrown clothing into an extra special holiday gift for another young girl.’’
The grandmother wrote to Globe Santa because she knew the fund drive has been helping families like hers for more than five decades. Since 1956, when the campaign offered assistance to 6,200 households, Globe Santa has delivered toys, books, stocking stuffers, games, and candy to some 2,560,000 children in more than a million families across Eastern Massachusetts who celebrate Christmas.
The thought of disappointing a child who has given them so much joy made asking Globe Santa to pay the family a visit a little easier, she wrote.
“The joy that our girl has brought into our lives is immeasurable; she is laughter, hope, and happiness,’’ she wrote. “She is so talented. Yet the financial responsibilities have been overwhelming. There are times I look at her as she sleeps and just cry, because we want her to have the best life can offer.’’
The young girl is an aspiring writer and artist, her grandmother said, and has dreams of attending a school of design after she graduates from high school. She is a selfless child as well, her grandmother wrote, excited to help gift wrap the dresses that no longer fit for the benefit of another girl her age.
“She has drawn Christmas cards filled with hearts and hopes that the next young recipient will feel extra special wearing the clothing that gave her such a sense of security and love,’’ her grandmother wrote.
Last year, $1,413,668 was raised and 56,190 children in 31,263 families discovered presents from Globe Santa under their tree. Because the Boston Globe Foundation pays all the administrative costs associated with the campaign, 100 percent of the money donated to the campaign is used to buy and deliver presents to children.