NORTH ANDOVER — You can hear the anguish in her voice as she speaks about her family’s situation.
Danielle has two daughters, aged 7 and 9, and she’s been struggling to hold on to her home and find a job. The electric bill and the mortgage are way overdue, and the small conveniences of life, such as a TV, have had to be relinquished.
Danielle, who is 35 and lives in North Andover, finds herself in a place that’s familiar to too many people in America today. She’s a single parent looking to find a decent job in order to give her children the kind of life they deserve.
This year, the Santa Fund will help relieve some of the daily struggles Danielle has been recently experiencing.
“The Santa Fund is very beneficial to me. It’s beneficial to me as a single parent and as a human being in general,” she said. “I do not get child support. I lost my unemployment checks at the beginning of August, and have had no income at all until about two weeks ago.”
Danielle, who recently received her nursing assistance certification, is working two part-time jobs that are seasonal as she tries to find a job as a nursing assistant. One job ends on Dec. 24 and the other on Jan. 15.
“I’ve been trying to find a job for over a year. I’ve been on interview after interview after interview,” Danielle said. “I can’t do anything for my children and I want to be able to.” She sold her jewelry to help her family survive for a few months and she works the third shift.
“It hurts. I don’t see my kids because I have to work overnights,” she said.
Danielle heard about the Santa Fund through her local church, and applied at the Salvation Army in Lawrence. She received her voucher, but is also worried that the day and time she’s been asked to pick up her benefits is the same day she has to be in court. Either way, she said she’ll try to make it work.
“I’ve been struggling,” she said. “But I keep a positive head on my shoulders and look at my children and know that we’ll get through this.”