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December 12. 2013 9:44PM

Expenses keep rising for family


Carol has been working as hard as ever at her job at a day care center, but while her pay has stayed flat the past two years, her expenses have kept going up. "It's been a hard year," Carol said. "I was supporting the whole house. The taxes went up; the mortgage went up; the condo fees went up. ... I just wasn't making it."

Carol's household budget took an especially big hit earlier this year when the father of her three children was laid off and could no longer provide child support. The cost of her own child care also went up $100.

Carol said she doesn't rely on public assistance and increasingly she's had to tell her kids that there are things they just can't have because she can't afford them.

But Carol said she wants to make Christmas a happy time for her daughter, who is 12, and her two sons, 3 and 5, and has turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army for help. The youngsters are hoping Santa fulfills their wishes for, among other things, a toy race car track and a DVD featuring the Hulk and Iron Man.

"I'm still glad we have a roof over our heads," Carol said. "We're doing the best we can. And we're making it work. I'm trying to give them the best" to help them enjoy the holidays she said.

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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