While many of us are fortunate to have the resources to create a wonderful holiday in our own homes, not all families in Massachusetts are so luck. Each year the Boston Globe has sponsored Globe Santa that brings the holiday to families in need. What’s unique about this charitable program is there is an application process with verification before funds are distributed on behalf of a family. According to the Globe Santa organization,
The program helps brighten the holiday season for more than 28,000 families and 55,000 children in 167 communities every year.
* Families request toys by writing to Globe Santa, stating their family size and need. This need must be verified and countersigned by a social service or religious agency that has previously registered with Globe Santa Fund. The agency must have documented records of the particular family’s situation. The deadline for family letters this year is December 6, 2006.
* Agencies that can verify requests include welfare offices, hospitals, churches and clergy, halfway houses, AFDC office and similar social service organizations.
* Agencies must register with Globe Santa each year. The registration procedure is announced in the Boston Globe and by mail to agencies that registered in the previous year. The deadline for agency registration this year is October 31.
* Families apply for assistance during October and November. The application procedure is published in detail in ads in the Globe that run from November 1 through December 6, 2006.
* Toys are delivered to family households beginning the first week in December right up to two days before Christmas.
PS As soon as we are done giving thanks, the Season of Giving will be closing in. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting a few organizations worth considering for holiday donations. All the organizations I recommend share some important elements:
1. they benefit children and families
2. they have a proven track record
3. there is some sort of verification of need