Mom: It's hard making ends meet

MANCHESTER — Melanie, a single mother of three, said two of her three sons are visually impaired and have multiple medical issues.

She is struggling to afford Christmas gifts for her children. While she works full time, the amount of money she makes barely covers the bills.

Help from the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army would go a long way to making this Christmas a special day for her family.

“Anything will help me,” Melanie said. “Anything they send. I receive absolutely no help from their father. He left when my kids were young.”

Trying to do everything by herself is difficult but they get by. The holidays, however, are especially tough.

She asked if the Santa Fund could provide Christmas gifts for her three children.

Her 7-year-old son, Billy, likes LEGO sets and trucks. Her 5-year-old son, Joseph, also likes LEGO sets and matchbox cars. Her 1-year-old son, Tim, likes kittens, bears and “just about anything.” Melanie is unemployed, and the four of them live with her mother in Manchester. They qualify for food stamps and WIC in an amount Melanie said “does not even come close” to meeting their need for groceries.

Add to that all the other financial responsibilities that come with having three kids, Melanie said, and “it’s hard making ends meet.”

So she said she stretches what they have and they make it by “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” and living most months in “a real pinch.”

It’s important to her that her children have a pleasant Christmas, even if they don’t get a lot of toys.

“I don’t want them to struggle because of my struggle. I try to put up walls so they don’t see what’s going on,” she said.

She’s grateful to Santa Fund organizers for making it possible for her to add a few more treats under the Christmas tree and prepare a meal she hopes her children will remember happily for years to come. “I just want to make sure they get a good Christmas,” she said.

Santa Fund donations may be made by sending a check to the Union Leader Santa Fund, in care of the New Hampshire Union Leader, 100 William Loeb Drive, Manchester 03109; 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. If a donor wishes, we will publish photos of gifts of $1000 or more. Call Shannon Sullivan at 206-7833 for more information.