"All the money I get paid is not enough to do extra stuff," the letter read. "I would like to do a nice [holiday] dinner or give my kids toys for Christmas, but I have so many bills to pay."

This scenario is so common for many families these days. Higher costs of living, rent, gasoline, fixed incomes, illness, or unemployment | all these factors can place stresses on people who are coming into the holiday season with a less than joyous heart.

It is for this reason the Derry News Santa Fund began more than 20 years ago to help those in need who might need a bit of a boost this season.

Hundreds of individuals and families face trying times and struggles, not only at the holidays but all year long.

The Derry News Santa Fund raises money to help those people have a brighter holiday. One hundred percent of the money raised through the Santa Fund goes directly to support the Derry Community Fund, helping people in the Greater Derry and surrounding areas for more than 40 years.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to: Derry News Santa Fund, P.O. Box 307, Derry, N.H. or stop by the news office at 46 West Broadway to make a donation.

Santa Fund donations to date total $4,334.62 and include the following:

Merry Christmas. Anonymous $20

In memory of Mary L. and Earl F. Warren Sr. Miss you Mom and Dad. Love, Priscilla and Bob and family $30

Merry Christmas. Anonymous $50

Merry Christmas from the Bertrand family $25

Happy Holidays from the Pinkerton Academy Student Activity Fund $228.78

Happy Holidays from Stephen Miller and Laura Bartlett $25

Merry Christmas from Harriet and Donald Cox $25

Merry Christmas from Londonderry Self Storage $1,000

Steven, our thoughts and prayers are always with you. Mom and Dad. From Russell and Berth Holm $100

In memory of Mom/Nana who loved Christmas; and Chloe, our forever angel. From Suzanne, Jean and Luc Laurent $25

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