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December 10. 2013 11:31PM

Mom works, but just gets by

MANCHESTER — Gloria is hoping that this Christmas will be the one when she can make her unusually generous boys feel how they make others feel.

These kids, she said, recently pored over a toy store's "wish" list, but spent the entire time picking out things they thought others would like. "My kids make me cry," she said. "I have really good boys."

Gloria, a divorced mother of three, earns $13 an hour working as a vocational technician for mentally and physically challenged people. She said she can't afford to provide much for Christmas for her 5- and 4-year-old boys or their 18-month-old sister, so she turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army.

Her 4-year-old loves anything related to Pokemon, while his older brother would like a pair of the Stompeez slippers.

Since her divorce, Gloria has struggled to make ends meet. She does, just barely, thanks to family and friends who help her avoid day care expenses."

But I still don't make much money," she said.

To provide a decent three-bedroom apartment and to keep food on the table, Gloria sacrifices other amenities. She has no Internet access or cable television.

Her sons recently wanted to make a healthy snack for friends at school, so Gloria helped them build a turkey out of fruit. Because of that, she had to economize on other meals.

"It was a little pricey," she said of the fruit turkey, "but for the happiness of your boys, you do what you can."

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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.


How to donate

Santa Fund donations can be made by completing the online form by clicking "Donate" below or send a check to:

THE SANTA FUND
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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