Nicole Canfield of New Bedford is a mother of three active boys who are eight, seven, and five years old. The Canfield family suffered a painful loss four years ago when Nicole’s husband, the boys’ father, passed away suddenly due to a massive heart attack.

The pain and heartbreak from that day are with them constantly, and the boys are still learning how to cope with the loss through therapy. They used to turn to friends from school for support, but COVID-19 has made that close to impossible. Dealing with loss at such a young age seems unfair, but Nicole works hard to keep their father's memory alive.

“We look at pictures almost every day,” Nicole said.

After the fatal heart attack, Nicole and the boys moved into an apartment that left Nicole with a lifelong illness due to mold in the building. “I’ll be on medication for the rest of my life," she said.

They have since moved out, but now that Nicole is immunocompromised, she is not able to take her sons out for playdates as much as they used to. But Nicole remains hopeful and positive when she was gushing about her boys to Michael and Maddie.

Her youngest, Cayden, is wishing for a camouflage helicopter this Christmas. Her oldest, Clayton, wants a LEGO set, “because he’s going to be an architect one day, I just know it,” she said. Her middle son Carson wishes for a 500 piece puzzle because anything less than 500 is too easy.

We asked Nicole what is on her wish list.

“I just want my boys to have a good Christmas,” she said, because her passion to be a good mother outweighs everything else. However, when she told Michael and Maddie that she was unemployed due to COVID, behind $1,200 on rent, and has over $400 in car repairs, we knew we had to help.

Losing a loved one is difficult, but I can’t imagine the pain that the sons are going through, and Nicole is going through as a grieving wife and consoling mother. Not having everyone around for the holidays makes the days a little darker, but the Canfield family is a tightly-knit crew, and we want your help in making their holidays bright.

Here’s how you can help the Canfield Family for Holiday Wish with the United Way of Greater New Bedford:

Text to Donate: Text WISHES to 313131. You will be sent a United Way e-link that allows you to make a donation via credit card to this family when you select the day and date of which family you wish to help from the drop-down menu.

By Check: Make checks payable to the United Way of Greater New Bedford and in the memo line, write HOLIDAY WISH and the day and date of the family you wish to help. Checks can be mailed to United Way of Greater New Bedford, 128 Union Street, Suite 105, New Bedford, MA 02740.

Donate by Credit Card: You can make a secure donation to the United Way via credit card HERE. Select the day and date of the family you wish to help from the "Please Select a Family" drop-down menu.

All of our families are pre-selected through the United Way of Greater New Bedford. If you are in need of assistance, please contact the United Way directly.

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