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Globe Santa

Four motherless boys will get a big surprise this Christmas

By Christopher Tangney
Globe Correspondent / December 18, 2011
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A large number of Globe Santa’s requests for assistance providing Christmas gifts for children are written by single mothers, but some come from fathers who are doing all they can to fill the void left when there is no maternal figure in their children’s lives.

“I’ve been in charge of caring for four boys for the last several years,’’ one father from the North Shore wrote in a letter to Globe Santa. “Their mother is not involved due to her history of alcohol abuse and mental health issues.’’

While living without their mother has been understandably hard on the boys, who are 3, 5, 9, and 10 years old, their father said they all possess “great attitudes’’ and have done nothing but make him proud. Money has always been tight, he wrote, but in the last several months things have taken a turn for the worse.

“I suffered a serious back injury on a construction job and I haven’t been able to work since it happened last August,’’ he wrote. “So between the lack of income and the costs of doctors’ appointments and physical therapy, I’m now behind on all my bills.’’

It’s tough enough to keep the house stocked with enough food for four growing boys, he continued, never mind the seemingly endless need for new clothes, but since he is a laborer by trade and lacks the experience to do another type of work, he’s been forced to put off essential expenses while he waits for his body to heal. The family is a few months behind on the rent and the landlord has threatened them with eviction, he wrote.

“I’ve had to plead for more time every month and if I can’t find a way to start working again soon, I’m not sure what we’re going to do,’’ he said in his letter.

They’re all big Boston sports fans, he said, and like many children their age they entertain dreams of playing for one of the local teams someday. The competition between the older boys can be fierce, he added, while the younger ones simply give all they’ve got trying to keep up.

They’ve cut out every extra expense - canceling the cable service and no longer going out to movies together, for instance - but the boys’ father dreads the thought of not having anything to give his sons for Christmas.

“My sons like every sport there is, football, hockey, baseball, you name it,’’ he wrote. “Anything they can play with together would be appreciated.’’

These four boys will join the more than 50,000 others who will benefit from Globe Santa this year thanks entirely to the thousands of individuals, groups, and local businesses that donate to the fund drive.

Since 1956, Globe Santa has delivered toys, books, games, and candy to families that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition. Last year, $1,413,668 was raised and 56,190 children in communities throughout Eastern Massachusetts discovered presents from Globe Santa under their tree.

And 100 percent of every dollar raised by Globe Santa is used to buy gifts for children; the Boston Globe Foundation pays all of the administrative costs associated with the campaign.

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