Thank you: 1,208 T&G Santa donors gave $109,274 to buy 11,767 gifts for 5,000 children

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WORCESTER — To the more than 1,200 donors who gave a little or gave a lot to the Telegram & Gazette’s 83-year tradition of buying Christmas gifts for local children in need, I thank you.

Greetings all, T&G Santa here.

As you may have heard, I’m all about making childhood Christmas dreams come true, especially for the littles whose circumstances call for a dose of elfin intervention.

Since 1938, my Worcester workshop, otherwise known as the newspaper, has collected monetary donations to buy gifts for children under the care of foster homes, nonprofit service agencies and humanitarian organizations.

The newspaper partners with the United Way of Central Massachusetts and scores of kindhearted volunteers who tinker their way into filling my sleigh and making the Christmas magic happen.

The pandemic-induced turmoil that persisted through 2021 spirited yet a greater call to provide for the children who needed it most.

Our 1,208 donors answered the call by giving $109,274 toward the purchase of 11,767 toys, books and gifts for more than 5,000 children.

If you were among those who gave, please know that you were the Christmas champion for these children in 2021.

I would be remiss not to mention the many caring adults who ensured the gifts were placed in the hands of children in their care.

Truckloads of toys and books were dispatched throughout the region to elves in the guise of child care and human services providers. In addition to lifting the lives of people all year long, these elves eased holiday gift worries for financially distressed parents and gave children with little or no family the joy and excitement of a Christmas morning.

The Salvation Army in Fitchburg placed my workshop gifts in the hands of 1,005 children; Catholic Charities Family and Children’s Services in Southbridge, 716 children; the Spanish American Center in Leominster, 90 children; the Devereux School in Rutland, about 60 children; Devereux Therapeutic/Intensive Foster Care in Holden, 84 children; the Salvation Army Milford, 413 children; and the Rainbow Child Development Center in Worcester, 208 at-risk children.

Other nonprofits who received and distributed gifts were the Salvation Army Worcester Citadel, the Winchendon Community Action Committee, the state Department of Mental Health in Worcester, the Canterbury Elementary School, the Guild of St. Agnes, Jeremiah’s Inn, Pernet Family Health Service, Webster Square Day Care Center and the Gardner Community Action Committee.

I’ve heard it said that there is no rest for the weary. So, I pen this missive with thoughts of how my workshop may prepare for another year fraught with great need. Among all the uncertainties, one constant rings true: Your contributions matter. Be the mind of Santa in 2022 and give to those in need with a warm heart, open mind and helping hands.

All my very best to you in 2022, TGS.

PREVIOUS TOTAL: $102,994.12

CONTRIBUTIONS IN HONOR OF:

Employees of Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Keri & Bitsoli PC, $1,850.00

Mark Wagner, $1,000.00

The Students & Staff of Burncoat Middle School, $1,000.00

Our Grandchildren Sophie, Ethan, Avery and Ryleigh, $1,000.00

Santa's Helper, $100.00

Santa's Helper, $100.00

Santa's Helper, $100.00

Carolyn & David McClure, $50.00

Santa's Helper, $50.00

Santa's Helper, $25.00

The Holy Mother and Saint Martin, $10.00

CONTRIBUTIONS IN MEMORY OF:

Gerald Singer, $100.00

Grampy; Mackenzie,Thomas and Emma Doherty, $150.00

F. Kenneth & Margo Pfeiffer, $100.00

Katherine Kneeland DeLuca; Liz, Jeff & Kevin, $100.00

Mary Layden, Betty McCray, Rita Velntine, Lo Layden, Ellen McCray and Charles McCray; Jean Butterworth, $100.00

Stanley & Emily Kabala, Francis & Helen Mahoney, Doroth & Catherine Brosnahan; James & Daniel Kabala, $100.00

Ben Hamilton & Sheila DeSimone, Love Arnie & Norma, $50.00

Grampa David, Nick, Matt & Charlie, $50.00

Grandfather; the McGrath Family, $50.00

Our Pepe Everett Gonyea; Alyssa & Logan, $50.00

Evelyn & Maurice, $25.00

Mickey Sarsfield, $25.00

My Mom - Mary Walsh and My Sister in Law - Glenelle Walsh; Pat Murphy, $25.00

Ray & Diane Brodeur, $25.00

Vincent Penny; Sam, $25.00

Beth Radzinski Yepe, $20.00

DAILY TOTAL: $6,280.00

2022 FUNDRAISING TOTAL: $109,274.12

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: T&G Santa donors gave $109,274 to buy 11,767 gifts 5,000 children in Worcester