MASON CITY – Mason City residents who are struggling with health or are experiencing difficult circumstances are hoping to have a good Christmas thanks to the Cheer Fund. 

A Mason City man with four children ages 16, 13, 7 and 3 is unemployed due to cancer and chemotherapy. 

"Any help for the children would be appreciated," the father's caregiver wrote on the family's Cheer Fund application, which was seeking food or gifts. 

A 50-year-old Mason City woman said she would like to buy food and a teapot. 

"My cancer has spread to my bones," she wrote. "I am ready to go home to Jesus."

A 54-year-old Mason City woman, who said she is unemployed and does not receive state aid, has breast cancer, cerebral palsy and osteoarthritis. 

"Medical bills have been high," she wrote. "I would appreciate anything you can provide for food for Christmas dinner and a couple of small gifts my great-nephew, 2, and my elderly mother, 93."

A 59-year-old Mason City woman recently opened her home to a 17-year-old boy. 

"His mother passed away in August and he has nowhere to go," the woman wrote, noting she hoped to use funds for food. 

Cheer Fund donations are falling behind previous years, making it difficult to process requests before the holidays.

As of Monday, $55,115 has been raised. Another $69,885 is needed to reach this year’s goal of $125,000.

Can you help us help those in need?

The Christmas Cheer Fund was established by Globe Gazette Publisher Lee Loomis in 1927 so every child could have a present on Christmas morning. In the years since it has come to mean a little help at Christmastime to people of all ages.

Donations may be dropped off at the Globe Gazette or mailed to the Christmas Cheer Fund, Box 271, Mason City, IA 50402-0271.

Those in need can apply for help from the Cheer Fund at the Globe Gazette, 300 N. Washington Ave., between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Applicants must use the 2016 request form. Applications will close at noon Dec. 22.

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