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December 03. 2012 10:48PM

Single mom wants joy for her daughters

Cynthia has two young daughters and recently moved because her last Section 8 apartment was condemned due to mold.

A single mom, she receives Social Security because of mental health issues, but wants to get back on her feet. She said she is pursuing a cosmetology degree to make a better life for the girls, ages 2 and 5.

"Hopefully one day I can work at a salon or even own my own someday," said Cynthia, not her real name.

Her income, including child support, comes to about $1,350 a month, and her expenses run more than $1,000 a month with rent, utilities, child care and food.

She hopes that the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army will help put Christmas presents under the tree this year.

"I'd like to get the baby Elmo and my older girl loves anything to do with hairdressing or nail polish to be like me," she said.

Juggling school and parenting is hard, but will be well worth it in the future, she said. She said her mother has serious health issues, but helps out when she can.

"At times, yes it's hard," she said.

Cynthia grew up in Manchester and attends a Christian church, she said.

"It's not just about receiving gifts, but both my daughters are young and will be looking for gifts under the tree," Cynthia said.

It will be wonderful to get some presents for her children, Cynthia said, but she plans on teaching them there is more to the day than gifts.

"Being with my family" is one of the biggest gifts, Cynthia said.


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 financially 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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