Mom of twins hoping for a Christmas miracle
"It would probably be very boring and very sad," Mary said of the prospect of a Christmas without presents for her son and daughter, who dream Santa will bring them each a Razor Scooter.
This prompted Mary to turn to the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army. (See list, Page B1.)
"I cannot even afford to get presents," she explained.
Mary was born in Manchester and lives in the house her now-deceased Ukrainian-immigrant parents owned. The building is in need of repairs she said she cannot afford.
Laid off as a full-time secretary three years ago, Mary is disabled and behind on her bills.
"I have a first mortgage and a second mortgage and I have a line of credit ... I'm behind on all of them right now," Mary explained.
"I'm afraid I'm going to lose my parents' house," she said.
Mary recently began working part time as a billing clerk. But the job only promises about nine hours of work a week - hardly enough to put a dent in her debts.
She said she recently began working with The Way Home, a nonprofit agency that helps low-income people find affordable housing, to apply for reduced mortgage interest rates.
"I'm very overwhelmed," she added.
Christmas will be a simple affair brightened by a foot-high, live Christmas tree Mary picked up at Home Depot.
"They (children) wanted a big tree. But I told them I can't get one and I really don't have any place to put it," Mary said.
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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 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.