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December 19. 2014 10:02PM

No Christmas for Betty's kids without help

Betty’s bills have started piling up since the birth of her second child a few months ago.

“It’s hard,” she said. “The bills are always harder.”

But the specter of a “nothing” Christmas is why Betty has asked the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army for help to get the clothes, dolls and arts and crafts material her daughters need.

“There wouldn’t be a Christmas” without the help of the Santa Fund, which annually helps families by providing gifts for children so parents can use whatever resources they have to pay for housing, food and other bills.

“It would have been a lot harder,” she said.

Betty works as a licensed nursing assistant at a hospital, but is employed only on a per diem basis. She is trying to find a full-time spot, she said.

“I don’t have consistent hours,” she said.And Betty also went several weeks without working while on maternity leave, causing the bills to pile up, she said.Betty said she is grateful of the generosity of donors to the Santa Fund.

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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