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Christmas wishes granted in Nashua

NASHUA -- Christmas is a festive time filled with joy and happiness for many families, but it is also a time to remember those people who are less fortunate in the community who may need a helping hand this time of year.

Teaming up with employees from Fidelity Investments, the Nashua Salvation Army on Montgomery Avenue helped make Christmas dreams come true for about 125 area families on Thursday, an annual tradition that seems to grow each year.

"Donations are harder to come by this year. It is hard for everybody right now," said Major Norma Moore of the Nashua Salvation Army. "We had over 600 families seeking assistance."

One of those couples, Tanya and Rudy Montminy of Nashua, were on hand Thursday to receive their gifts. With four children to provide for this Christmas season, the Montminys said the adopt-a-family program has been a blessing. "It is going to mean a lot for all of us," said Tanya Montminy. Her husband agreed, adding that groceries, rent and heat are major priorities, leaving little money left for any Christmas gifts.

They asked for clothes for their children, specifically two older boys in junior high school who need new sneakers. With only their social security checks to get by, Rudy Montminy said there will be a lot less stress on him now that the Salvation Army is assisting. "The kids won't know the difference. Thankfully, they will think the presents are from Santa," he said.

Employees at Fidelity Investments donated money, and purchased and wrapped hundreds of items for their adopted families, gifts raninging from basic necessities such as diapers to top-of-the-line bicycles.

Sheets, comforters and children's hats, mittens and boots were popular requests this year, along with grocery store gift cards, Lalaloopsy dolls and scooters.

"Every kid needs a toy on Christmas Day," said Moore, adding she is so pleased that many less-fortunate children in Nashua will have a special gift to open thanks to the generosity of Fidelity Investments employees.

"I feel very fortunate to be able to help," said Kelley Lochmandy of Fidelity Investments. "It is mind boggling to me when I see how many people are in need. This is such a great cause, and I am glad to help."

In addition to the 125 families adopted by Fidelity workers for the Salvation Army program, the company also assisted an additional 125 children through a similar program organized by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter.

"It is so exciting to see all of the bikes that have been donated. Being able to provide that memory for a child - allowing them to see a bike under their tree on Christmas morning - it is very rewarding," said Teresa Robinson, community relations manager for Fidelity Investments.

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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at khoughton@newstote.com.


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