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Boys & Girls Club Member Faces Tough Holiday Season

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – There are 9 Boys & Girls Clubs serving some of the poorest neighborhoods in the Denver Metro area. That’s why CBS4 partners with the Boys & Girls Clubs because we want to make sure very child gets a gift this Holiday Season.

Approximately 81-percent of the Boys & Girls Club members qualify for free and reduced school lunch. Maria Sanchez’s family definitely falls into that category. Her mother is single raising 4 children and battling Stage 4 colon cancer. Maria’s mom has had the disease for four years and works as an accountant around her chemotherapy treatments. But medical bills and missed work, have depleted the family’s finances.

“We’ve probably had to go a day or two without eating,” Sanchez told CBS4.

The 13-year-old helps out as much as she can around the house and with her younger siblings.

“Help her clean, help her do whatever she needs, pick up my sister from school. It’s hard…stressful, but at times it could make me happy only because I know I’m helping her out,” Sanchez explained.

Her time at the Boys & Girls Club is the time she feels most like a teenager. She still does her homework and helps tutor the younger kids, but she also gets time to play games, hangout with her friends, watch movies and just get her mind off her family’s problems. Christmas is also a time when she feels like a child again.

“I live getting Christmas presents. I mean I’m 13, but I still love Christmas.”

Sanchez knows that life can be hard and she’s well aware that Christmas will probably be sparse this year, but she can’t help but hope for a little Christmas magic.

“I could go without and if I go without I would rather that my little sister and my little brother have something instead of me.”

You can make a little magic for Maria and all the children at the Boys and Girls Clubs by donating a new toy to the CBS4 Care 4 Colorado campaign. The big Collection Day for the campaign is Thursday, December 16th from 5am to 7am at King Soopers at Yale and Colorado. CBS4 personalities and Boys & Girls Club volunteers will be there all day accepting new toy donations.

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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