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Mom just grateful for help from Santa Fund

MANCHESTER - "Monica" relied on her mother-in-law to pay half the mortgage for their four-bedroom house, but the live-in relative lost her job two years ago and hasn't found a replacement.

"We burned through all the credit cards and savings," Monica said. "We burned through every last cent to pay bills; we don't have anything extra."

Her husband works two jobs to keep up with the house, which his mother co-owns, and the family receives about $250 a month in food stamps.

"There's no cushion left whatsoever," Monica said.

She has surveyed thrift stores and picked up a few things, but looks forward to the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army to help make Christmas brighter.

Without the Santa Fund, she said, "I'm sure the kids would notice there's very little available."

Her preteen daughter likes Nintendo video games, but knows the family can't buy any.

"It's still heartwrenching to tell your child, 'We can't afford it,' for something that's so important for her," Monica said.

The girl loves to read, devouring books on her e-reader, which was a gift.

"We haven't been able to get books for her," but they use the city library, Monica said. "She goes through an entire novel in almost two days; we can't keep up with her."

Two younger boys covet Lego toys and Pokemon cards.

Monica said her family will appreciate whatever the Santa Fund delivers.

"Every little bit makes a difference," she 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

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.


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