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December 02. 2012 1:32AM

She has high hopes, few resources for grandson


A Manchester grandmother works two part-time jobs while caring for her toddler grandson and still pays out twice as much as her take-home pay in rent, utilities, food and automobile expenses.

Her grandson is 3. He is still sometimes troubled by the move to her custody, although his mother visits as often as she can.

"This is only temporary until my daughter can get on her feet," said Naomi (not her real name).

The grandmother said she is working as much as she can, but hopes to find day care for her grandson so she can put in more hours.

Her grandson is a "typical boy," she said.

"He's very, very active. ... He had a difficult time during the transition," Naomi said.

She tries to keep him busy, to maintain a predictable schedule.

Naomi is grateful for the help offered by the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army, but her hopes for her grandson include things that no amount of money can buy.

"I hope that he is happy," Naomi said.

While the bills are mounting, at least there is no worry about having a Christmas tree.

"I have a fake one," she said. "We are putting it up next week."

Naomi tries to stay upbeat.

"It's not easy, but things are going to work out. I'm very optimistic," she said.

Her Christmas wish is for her grandson to be living with his mother as soon as possible, but her daughter is struggling to find full-time work, although she does work part time.

She trusts her daughter to be diligent because she knows how much she loves her son. "I'm very proud of her."

What about a Christmas wish for a busy grandmother? "I don't know," Naomi said. "I haven't had time to think about myself."

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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.

Click here to donate to the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army.

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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