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Mom won't let tough times prevent family time

Staff Report
December 14. 2013 11:00PM

Even though Nancy and her husband work full time and count their pennies, they come up short.

A refugee from South Sudan, she has been in the Manchester area about a dozen years. She works as a licensed nursing assistant at a Manchester nursing home, and her husband has a temporary job as an assembler.

But she brings in about $400 a week and he makes even less, and that's not enough for their family of five. A car repair or a doctor bill can cause financial havoc, she said.

"It's very frustrating to be working hard and you don't make enough," said Nancy, who asked she be identified with a pseudonym.

Christmas is an important time for their family. Nancy makes sure everyone is together, even if that means waking her children - ages 3, 8 and 16 - at 5 a.m. so they can open a few gifts and share some family time before Nancy starts her 7 a.m. shift.

"It's a very big thing for me," she said. "I want enough time to be together. It's very important for my family."Nancy, 40, has lived in Manchester since immigrating to the United States. Her two younger children were born in the United States. She divorced their father, and her oldest son lives in South Sudan with him.She has remarried, and her new husband has been in Manchester since 2012.

He works a temporary job, meaning the family loses out during times such as Thanksgiving week, when his company shut down for four days.Her younger children are excited about Christmas, and that is why Nancy has turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army. Her 3-year-old calls her to the television whenever a commercial runs for a Princess computer game. And her 8-year-old wants a tablet, something she has ruled out."I have to explain to him," she said, "that what we can't get now we wait for a later time."


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 ?nancially 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 8 a.m. to 5 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.

Call Shannon Sullivan at 206-7833 for more information.

Santa Fund

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