METHUEN — Jorge is 10 years old and he’s talking to his mother and father in Spanish. He’s translating for them, as he does whenever his family has to go out. “I always help them,” said Jorge, who is in the fifth grade.
Neither his father, Carlos — who is 34 — or his mother, Jahaira, 28, are working right now and the family is having a tough time this Christmas season. Jorge said his parents have been receiving benefits to help pay the rent and other necessities.
Jorge said his mom Jahaira has been to the Lawrence Salvation Army this year to apply for assistance through the Santa Fund. She and her husband have three children at home. Jorge said he shares the apartment with his 12-year old brother, also named Carlos, and his sister Janilca, who is five. The family has been in the United States for the past two-and-a-half years.
Jorge said his parents were grateful for the help from the Santa Fund.
When asked if Christmas was a happy time in his family, Jorge doesn’t hesitate. “Yes,” he said, “A very happy time.”
He quickly added that he and his brother Carlos would like a laptop for Christmas, “but my dad can’t buy one right now,” he said.