Since October, Angela has applied for 20 jobs.
She was laid off this fall when her department was cut and the jobs were outsourced to Mexico, she said. Since then she has been applying for any type of position she can find.
Her two daughters, ages 9 and 7, understand times are tough this year and their mother will not be able to give them gifts, but they are still hoping Santa will drop some off for them.
"I think they are still too young to realize," Angela said. "I have to try to explain to them mommy got laid off from her job . . . My oldest daughter, her birthday passed on Friday and I wasn't able to get her anything, not a party or anything. She was asking when she will have a party."Angela, who is going through a divorce and is not in contact with her husband, has never been able to go all out during Christmas, she said. But she has always been able to provide some of the things her girls have needed and asked for. This year, she has no way to buy them anything at all.
She is asking the Santa Fund for help. The Santa Fund was started by The Telegraph in 1962 to help struggling families get through the holiday. For more than a decade, the Salvation Army and Nashua Pastoral Care Center have been helping the newspaper register families and distribute gifts.
In the meantime, Angela will continue to look for a job. She was working in the manufacturing industry in the quality inspections department. She has been trying to find a job in that field in the Nashua area and as far away as North Andover, Mass.
"It seems like every job the agencies have are looking for engineers," she said. "I've applied at local retailers. I would take anything."
She applied at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys "R" Us, she added.
Unemployment doesn't pay enough each week for her family's basic needs and does not cover the rent for the family's two-bedroom apartment. She had to borrow money from her father who is paying his mortgage late this month in order to cover her rent as well.
The girls have written letters to Santa and asked him for items like Littlest Pet Shop toys, sports equipment and clothes and makeup.
"My oldest daughter is into sports," Angela said. "She loves the Red Sox, basketball, skateboards and scooters."
Her youngest daughter on the other hand is a "Diva," she added. She likes makeup, fancy clothes, and Disney movies.
They could also use clothes and winter boots, Angela added. Her oldest daughter is in a growth spurt. She is size 13 in boots and her youngest is size 1. They take a size 7 and 8 in pants and medium and large in shirts.
The girls are very close to each other and get along well, Angela added.
It has been very stressful being out of work and trying to stretch what they do have, Angela said. But the girls keep her going.
"My youngest one, if she sees me sad she will cheer me up," she said. "She will make a funny face."
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This article appears in the November 21 2008 issue of New Hampshire Business Review