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November 27. 2012 10:55PM

Children need games, clothing


MANCHESTER - Marie may not have good health or money or a job, but she does have four wonderful children who make up for a lot of the difficulties she said she encounters.

This Manchester single mother has crippling arthritis and medication that diminishes her immune system and ability to work, yet she has not been able to get disability coverage.

Last week, Marie, (not her real name), had a hacking cough and was sniffling, but also laughing on the telephone as she described her wonderful children, hard-working students who are helpful around the house, who have had to suffer with a lack of food and creature comforts most New Hampshire children enjoy.

"We had to sell the (Play Station 3) for food," she said, noting that times were particularly hard this year because her boyfriend of 14 years, who used to be able to help, developed an infection and was not able to work or even walk. He was on the road to recovery but he has suffered a relapse.

"My kids are awesome. They get good grades and they are helpful," she said.

Her youngest are twins, age 8, who could not be more different, she said.

One is an outdoorsmen, into being outside all day long while his twin is a homebody who enjoys music.

She would like an iPod Touch and or an iTunes card for which she can purchase music.

One of her twins has one wish, and "If he gets nothing else, that will be fine with him." He wants a Pro X Scooter.

He and his buddy love to scoot around the neighborhood after school and will try to do that even in winter.

But she noted her son does not have his own scooter. He borrows an old scooter from his buddy.

He could also use sweatshirts, size 10-12 boys, and a good winter coat and snow pants so he can go sledding. He wears a size 2 shoe as does his twin sister, who wears size 12 pants and kids XL 14-16 coat and shirts.

Marie also has a 13-year-old boy who enjoys computer games and was the most devastated when the PS3 had to go to the pawn shop to pay for food.

He would like to have an Nintendo DS and some games to enjoy. He wears size 9 shoes but is still growing and wears men's pants size 32-34. A coat in a medium to large adult men's size would be good.

Her eldest is a petite 14-year-old girl who attends Central High School.

She would love to do a bit of shopping this time of year and would most enjoy a gift certificate from the Mall of New Hampshire, her mother said.

Marie said her daughter is like most teens at that age.

"She is picky about anything I buy" so it would make more sense for her to do the shopping for herself.

She wears a size 1 junior in dresses, is a medium in shirts and wears a women's size 7 shoes.

Anything that they could get for Christmas would be so helpful and lovely, Marie said, thanking those in advance for helping her kids have a nice holiday season.

The generosity of Santa Fund donors makes it possible for the holidays to still be a joyful time. The Santa Fund makes food, clothing and gifts available during the holiday season, so ?nancially stressed families can put their resources toward paying bills for basic needs.

Santa Fund donations may be made by sending a check to the Union Leader Santa Fund, in care of the New Hampshire Union Leader, P.O. Box 9555, Manchester 03108; or by placing a donation in the Santa Fund box in the lobby of the newspaper, at 100 William Loeb Drive, Manchester, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donations can also be made online at www.unionleader.com/santafund.

Every effort is made to promptly publish Santa Fund contributions. Donors who wish to see their contributions listed before Christmas are encouraged to submit them as soon as possible. The Union Leader publishes photos of donors of $1,000 or more.

For more information, call Christy Detrude at 668-4321, ext. 507.

How to donate

Santa Fund donations can be made by completing the online form by clicking "Donate" below or send a check to:

c/o New Hampshire Union Leader
P.O. Box 9555
Manchester, NH 03108

You can also drop off the printed form in our newspaper and a donation in the Santa Fund box at the Union Leader, 100 William Loeb Drive in Manchester from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will also have a donation drop box at the Intown Manchester Holiday Market on Thursday, November 29 and every Thursday in December.

Share a holiday greeting

With your donation, the Union Leader will publish a short holiday message in the newspaper. Just write it up exactly as you would have it appear, printing clearly, and mail it along with your donation. If you prefer to donate online, follow the link on the page following the transaction to submit a Christmas message.

For more information, please contact Shannon Sullivan, Union Leader Community Relations Manager, at (603) 206-7833 or ssullivan@unionleader.com

The Union Leader Santa Fund is a community tradition that has supported the Salvation Army for more than 50 years. The Santa Fund was first established at the Post Office Fruit in Manchester after a chance 1959 meeting between the Salvation Army major and the then-editor of the Union Leader.

In its first year, the Santa Fund brought in $1,000 to support the Salvation Armys Christmas effort. Since then, the Santa Fund has raised nearly $6.8 million, thanks to the generosity of the community and local businesses. Santa Fund dollars continue to provide warm clothing, meals and toys during the holidays, as well as support Kids Caf, summer camps and other critical programs throughout the year. Last year's drive brought in over $240,000 thanks to the generosity of local businesses and residents, bringing the lifetime total to nearly $6.8 million.

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