Item Santa: Loving mother has little to give to her sons

When all you have in your possession is love, faith, and two sons, the holidays can become more stressful than joyful.

“Aside from my love and faith, I have little else to give my boys,” one mother wrote to Item Santa. “It hurts knowing that their worlds have been flipped upside down.”

The first few years of the boys’ lives were happy and full, with two parents always providing for them. Two years ago, their father was prescribed opioids for a much-needed back surgery. That is when everything changed.

The mother wrote that the boys’ father started to abuse his prescribed medication, and when that no longer worked, he turned to the streets.

“His drug abuse ultimately was so out of control our family lost our home, belongings, pets, family, and friends,” she wrote.

The mother, along with her 12-year-old and 9-year-old, is currently living at a shelter in Lynn. One of her sons has mental health and social emotional issues, which means she always needs to be available to attend his doctor’s appointments and school meetings.

Given her inability to commit to a job, in order to ensure her son is being cared for, this mother’s only income is Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC). Her lack of a stable income is significant because the boys’ father is unable to be in their life because of his incarceration.  

All she wants to do is give her boys another normal Christmas, with gifts that fill them with happiness. This mother is not alone in the family fight against opioid addiction. One donation could help put smiles on her sons’ faces, along with the faces of so many other children in the community, on the most joyful day of the year.

“I would greatly appreciate any help your agency could provide to our family this holiday season,” she wrote. “Our boys are amazing children.”


Now in its 52nd year, the Item Santa fund helps make Christmas brighter for those in need. 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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