Immigrant families may come to the United States seeking opportunity and the American Dream, but they can find themselves struggling to carve out a life for themselves.
The holidays can compound those struggles, which was evident for two families who wrote to Item Santa explaining that they are struggling to make ends meet, but wanted to make this year’s Christmas a good one for their children.
One mother wrote that she and her husband were unable to buy her five children anything for the holiday.
“We are an immigrant family that has recently arrived to the U.S., therefore I am not able to work,” the mother wrote. “My husband works, but it’s only enough for rent and sometimes food. You wouldn’t understand how happy my kids would be with a Christmas gift.”
She said the best gift a mother could receive is to see her kids happy.
Another mother told Item Santa that this year marks the second one in the United States for her family. In addition to her kids expecting gifts under the tree from Santa Claus, her son’s birthday falls on Christmas so he expects an additional present as well.
She said her husband is employed as a construction worker. In addition to providing for the family, he pays her tuition as she is a full-time college student and doesn’t work.
“Unfortunately, it’s not easy for us to buy all these presents for kids,” the mother wrote. Thank you (Item Santa) for your assistance to my family.”
Now in its 52nd year, the Item Santa fund helps to make Christmas brighter for the needy. To donate, 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. You can visit itemsanta.org to make a donation online.
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 Salvation Army at 781-598-0673.