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Mom works, but just gets by


MANCHESTER — Gloria is hoping that this Christmas will be the one when she can make her unusually generous boys feel how they make others feel.
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These kids, she said, recently pored over a toy store's "wish" list, but spent the entire time picking out things they thought others would like. "My kids make me cry," she said. "I have really good boys."
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Gloria, a divorced mother of three, earns $13 an hour working as a vocational technician for mentally and physically challenged people. She said she can't afford to provide much for Christmas for her 5- and 4-year-old boys or their 18-month-old sister, so she turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army.
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Her 4-year-old loves anything related to Pokemon, while his older brother would like a pair of the Stompeez slippers.

Since her divorce, Gloria has struggled to make ends meet. She does, just barely, thanks to family and friends who help her avoid day care expenses."
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But I still don't make much money," she said.

To provide a decent three-bedroom apartment and to keep food on the table, Gloria sacrifices other amenities. She has no Internet access or cable television.
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Her sons recently wanted to make a healthy snack for friends at school, so Gloria helped them build a turkey out of fruit. Because of that, she had to economize on other meals.

"It was a little pricey," she said of the fruit turkey, "but for the happiness of your boys, you do what you can."
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Santa Fund donations may be made by sending a check to the Union Leader Santa Fund, in care of the New Hampshire Union Leader, P.O. Box 9555, Manchester 03108; or by placing a donation in the Santa Fund box in the lobby of the newspaper, at 100 William Loeb Drive, Manchester, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donations can also be made online at www.unionleader.com/santafund.
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