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December 30. 2013 10:07PM

Smiles say it all about Santa Fund


 

One man shows up each year to donate $1,000. In cash. Others who once benefited now give. And 54 years after it began, the Union Leader Santa Fund to support the Salvation Army remains a robust community tradition. (See donor list, Page B1.)The proof is in the thank-yous, in the smiles from those helped in a time of need and, of course, in the numbers.

In 2013, the Union Leader Santa Fund raised a total of $192,619.75.

The Union Leader Santa Fund was first established at the Post Office Fruit luncheonette in Manchester after a chance 1959 meeting between the Salvation Army major and the then-editor of the Union Leader. The Santa Fund raised $1,000 in its first year to support the Salvation Army's Christmas effort. Since then, the Santa Fund has raised more than $7.1 million. Santa Fund donations help qualified applicants to receive clothing, meals and toys during the holidays.
The money also supports the Kids' Cafe, summer camps and other programs at the Salvation Army.
"It's hard to not be inspired," said Shannon Sullivan, community relations manager for the New Hampshire Union Leader. "There's just a lot of people who are generous and people are persistent about making their donation."
Sullivan thanked residents and business people who regularly donate to the Santa Fund, as well as the families and individuals who are new contributors.

The fundraising effort also raised money from the sale of more than 300 copies of "The Christmas Coin," a children's book written by New Hampshire Union Leader staff writer Mark Hayward, which featured illustrations by children from the Salvation Army's youth programs.

Santa Fund beneficiaries qualify for the assistance through the Salvation Army. The New Hampshire Union Leader oversees fundraising and administration, while the Salvation Army in Manchester makes the decisions on where the money goes. Sometimes the donations help a single parent. Sometimes the money helps a family down on its luck. Whatever the circumstances, the Santa Fund helps out.


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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