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December 03. 2013 10:51PM

Santa Fund: Grandson would love art supplies

Sarah and Steve have been in the working middle class for as long as they can remember. It allowed them to raise a family, keep a home and see their six grandchildren grow. Lately, working for a living isn't good enough, and the couple find themselves barely able to keep their heads above water.
It started with Steve getting his pay cut by one of the local hospitals, where he has worked for the last 10 years.

"My husband is the only one working — and it is very, very hard," said Sarah, who is disabled and unable to work.

"We have so many bills, it's unbelievable. And our rent is very high," Sarah said.

"We're getting more behind in our bills than we ever have," she said.

Then the basement of their apartment building flooded a few months ago — destroying everything the middle-aged couple had in there. That included two artificial Christmas trees, light sets and Christmas ornaments.

"They were ornaments we had for a very, very long time," Sarah explained.

But the couple's greatest worry is making sure their 6-year-old grandson — whom they have raised since he was an infant — will have something on Christmas morning, even if there isn't a tree to put it under.

"We just want him to have a few gifts for Christmas," Sarah said.

That's why they turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army for help for the first time in their lives.

Their grandson hasn't written his letter to Santa yet, but Sarah knows he loves Angry Bird video games, Play-Doh, and anything that has to do with art, from pencil crayons and coloring books to art paper.

"We're just hoping he gets a gift," she said.

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 8 a.m. to 5 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.

Call Shannon Sullivan at 206-7833 for more information.

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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