Mothers' hardship letters will lead to happy morning
This year the Globe Santa staff has processed 30,365 letters requesting help in providing holiday gifts for more than 54,000 children.
A random examination of a small portion of these letters reveals a wide variety of sad reasons why adults responsible for the care of these youngsters - ranging from infants to 12-year-olds - need the help of Globe Santa and his thousands of friends.
For example, there is this letter from the mother of a 20-month-old boy.
"Currently, my son and I are staying with a family member. My husband is an American soldier who is suffering from PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] with violent outbursts. He has recently returned from a 16-month tour in Iraq. He fought in one of the most dangerous parts of Ramadi. He witnessed brutal and gruesome murders of fellow American soldiers.
"He is getting help for his condition and cannot be with his family through the holidays. These emotional times have been very hard for me."
She goes on to say that she has had trouble working regular hours at her part-time job, but that she hopes to stop receiving food assistance soon, because "I am a proud person and it is hard for me to ask for help from others."
Her letter concludes: "My 20-month-old son deserves to have the best Christmas I can give him. His Daddy will miss yet another holiday because of the effects of war. I am thankful to be considered for this program."
Globe Santa is going to see that her son has presents to open on Christmas morning.
A letter from a resident south of Boston, meanwhile, told of the problems her family has encountered since fire destroyed their home.
The letter writer asked Globe Santa if he would provide gifts for her three daughters and two sons. Again, Globe Santa's reply is "yes!"
Another of the letters' many sad stories comes from a mother who has several serious medical problems. Now the situation has grown even more complicated: She lost her job and recently almost lost her home.
Globe Santa will make sure that her three children also have gifts to open on Christmas morning.
He also appreciates very much the fact that thousands of people, on reading stories like these, have responded in such a generous manner. He hopes, even in this year of serious economic problems, to report that well over a million dollars has been contributed to the 2008 Globe Santa campaign.