Item Santa: A flood washed away this family’s Christmas plans

A little help from Item Santa could be a bridge over troubled waters for one family.

That trouble came for many Lynners on Aug. 12, when a flash flood drowned the basements of homes across the city. For one parent of three who wrote to Item Santa, the torrential rain ruined their entire stash of holiday cheer.

“Everything I have stored, including our Christmas tree and our kids’ toys, are damaged,” she wrote. “All had to be thrown away.”

She’s not alone. The rains of August led to widespread damage throughout the city. Parts of the downtown, Boston Street, and several other neighborhoods were inundated when 8 inches of rain fell in just over two hours time.

The sheer volume overwhelmed the city’s aging sewer system, forcing the rising water into basements and backyards across the city. It was the second such flash flood in 11 months and the city did not qualify for state or federal assistance in either case.

That left a lot of homeowners and renters digging deep into their pockets to make repairs and restore the items that were destroyed. For a family just scraping by with one income, this kind of damage can be catastrophic for its finances, which translates into trouble during the holidays.

“I want this Christmas to be special, and getting toys from (Item Santa) will make them very happy,” she wrote.

You can help this family and hundreds of others have a happy Christmas with a donation to Item Santa.


Now in its 52nd year, the Item Santa fund helps make Christmas brighter for those in need. If you want to make a direct donation to Item Santa, clip the coupon in The Item and mail it, along with your check, to The Item Salvation Army Santa, P.O. Box 5, Lynn, MA 01903.

All donations are listed in Item print editions through the month of December and into 2019, along with a brief message from each donor, if desired.

Those interested in signing up to collect at Santa Island or any business willing to sell stockings should contact David Solimine Sr. or Joel Solimine at 781-595-1492.

NOTE: The application period for aid from Item Santa has closed and The Item does not process applicants. All questions about the program and distribution of gifts should be directed to the Salvation Army at 781-598-0673.

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