Girl tells mother it’s OK they can’t afford some items

Mary Jo Meisner, vice president of the Boston Foundation, helped Globe Santa collect donations at Faneuil Hall.
Mary Jo Meisner, vice president of the Boston Foundation, helped Globe Santa collect donations at Faneuil Hall. (Mary O’Connor for The Boston Globe)
Mary O’Connor for The Boston Globe

Helping families in and around Greater Boston at Christmas has been Globe Santa’s mission for more than 50 years, and judging by the number of letters requesting assistance that include a note of thanks, his work has not gone unnoticed.

“First of all, I want to thank you for everything you do, not only for my own family but all the families in Boston who can use a glimmer of hope to look forward to each Christmas season,” a mother from Roslindale wrote in a letter to Globe Santa.

The single mother lives with her 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son in a one-bedroom apartment, and she takes pride in providing for her family, she wrote, but it’s hard to keep up with monthly expenses on a limited income.

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The two children must share a bedroom, which so far they’ve been remarkably happy to do, their mother added.

“My daughter is a bright and beautiful 5-year-old with blond hair and blue eyes who just loves being a young girl and playing with her family and her brother,” she wrote. “They love each other very much.”

Still, the girl is beginning to become aware of her family’s financial struggles and that makes her mother’s heart ache.

“I can’t always afford to buy the clothes and books she may need, but my daughter, God love her, she just says ‘It’s OK, Mom, we can get it next time,’ and is always very gracious,” the girl’s mother wrote.

Her son has autism, and while his mother describes him as a wonderful boy, his learning skills are different than many other children his age and his boundless energy can be difficult for his sister to keep up with at times.

“He can be pretty exhausting,” the boy’s mother wrote.

The three are as close as a family can be, she continued, and she teaches her children to be thankful for the roof over their heads and the food on their table each night.

But she didn’t want that lesson to be all her two children had for Christmas this year. With no money left for extras, she reached out to Globe Santa for help.

“Books are great! And any games or toys or outdoor activities would be great, too, but we will gratefully accept any gifts,” she wrote in her letter. “Globe Santa is our own little ‘Christmas miracle.’ Keep up the incredible work you all do.”

These two children will join tens of thousands of others receiving a visit from Globe Santa this year, thanks entirely to the generosity of individuals, groups, and local businesses that donate to the fund drive, many of whom making giving to Globe Santa a part of their holiday tradition.