SBSB gifts over years total $25K.


Byline: Ellie Oleson COLUMN: TELEGRAM & GAZETTE SANTA Mary E. Army, a customer service representative, decided to take up a collection around her office at the Small Business Service Bureau Inc. for the Telegram & Gazette Santa in 1984. She raised $170, which was matched by the company's chief executive officer, Francis R. Carroll. In the 22 years since then, the SBSB has donated a total of $25,080 to the T&G Santa Fund. This year, the SBSB employees donated $1,297, which Mr. Carroll matched for a total donation of $2,594. "This is an employee-driven program," Mr. Carroll said, giving special credit to the company's "Christmas angel," Mrs. Army. Mrs. Army, the mother of eight and grandmother of a small army, said she obviously loves children and wants every child to have a gift under the tree on Christmas morning. "The Gazette Santa provides each child with two toys and a book. Thanks to our employees, many more needy children had presents to open on Christmas morning," she said in a letter to employees last week. The Small Business Service Bureau is a national small business membership organization based in Worcester, which provides access to insurance products and financial services. Founded in 1968, the company has 50,000 members who benefit from group programs and discounts, legislative advocacy and management assistance, according to the company's Web site at "I'm proud of all my employees. They are faithful to the Gazette Santa. Their donation gets bigger and bigger every year. I think it's wonderful," Mr. Carroll said. Each year for the past 68 years, the T&G Santa Fund has collected thousands of donations from generous readers and area residents to help buy toys for children in Central Massachusetts. Children age 12 and under who would otherwise not receive any holiday gifts are eligible to receive two toys...

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