The reality that the Santa Fund deals with 'just struck home'
"When this happened, it really just struck home. I saw how important it is. They were wrapping themselves up in towels to keep warm - it's different to know about something in theory and then see it in reality.''
So said local dry cleaner Shelly Therrien, speaking to the Union Leader last week after a West Side fire in Manchester had thrown dozens of people out on the street.
Ms. Therrien manages Pro-Image Dry Cleaners and Pressed 4 Time.
The business quickly became a place where clothing donations were being dropped off for those in need.
Just days before the fire happened last Sunday morning, she had decided to get involved with the Salvation Army's Union Leader Santa Fund to help people with essentials during the Christmas season.
That's what Therrien meant when she said knowing about "something in theory and then see(ing) it in reality.''
A lot of our readers donate to the Santa Fund each year because they have read our city edition stories about those in need. Others give because they have seen in reality situations similar to the Granite Street fire of last weekend.
Some readers have told us that they themselves have been the beneficiaries of the Salvation Army and the Santa Fund and want to "pay it forward.''
We will be telling more such stories in our Greater Manchester editions over the next four weeks.
Similar fund-raisers occur in other parts of New Hampshire. If you live outside the area, your local selectmen or police will know where best to donate.
Locally, a tax-deductible donation to the Santa Fund can be made online at UnionLeader.com/santafund, by mail to Box 9555, Manchester, 03108, or by dropping by our 100 William Loeb Drive offices during business hours. New this year, the Intown Manchester Holiday Market at the Brady Sullivan Plaza will be open the next three Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Our big red Santa Fund box will be there, too.