The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund plans to use donations from readers to provide toys to about 7,000 Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents.

The fund – now in its 65th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties. Applications can be downloaded at pressheraldtoyfund.org or picked up at the Welcome Center desk on the fifth floor of One City Center in Portland. Call 791-6672 to have one mailed to you.

Donations to help buy the toys can be made on the website or by writing checks to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund and mailing them to the fund at P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112. The campaign’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000. The total raised so far is $10,180. Each day of the toy fund campaign, the Press Herald will run a letter from an applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

My three kids and I have been victims of domestic violence. We have ongoing court proceedings. My kids still smile and I feel that they deserve to at least have something under the tree. I was a stay-at-home mom. My husband was our only income and he is now in prison.

My kids have been through a lot, and still ask for nothing. They are basically happy kids and deserve something to really smile about.

Thank you for your help!

Mom of three

DONATIONS:

In loving memory of Alice Davis from Debbie and Mick……………………………..$50

For the kids, in memory of Famous Seamus Nee…………………………………….$40

In memory of Rosalie Murphy from Jean Farrar……………………………………….$25

Bill and Marilyn Lairsey…………………..$50

Christmas is for children! From Alice J Kelley………………………………………………$100

As a gift for my sister, from Anita Haskell………………………………………………$25

Joy to children! Steven Freedman……………………………………….$100

Thinking of you, Diane and Jack….$125

Greg and Max…………………………………$125

In memory of my father, John Moore …………………………………..$100

In memory of David Barter, Margaret Shapazian and Mary Shapazian from Patricia Barter………………………………….$25

Merry Christmas to the children of Maine…………………………………………..$100

Merry Christmas! From Rick and Janet Wolf………………………………………………….$50

From Peter, Sarah and Sean Carpenter……………………………………….$250

In memory of Keith W. Lovejoy Sr., a great man who loved all children and believed every child needed a gift at Christmas………………………………………$250

In memory of Harvey Banks and Joyse Reader from Laurie Banks……………..$50

Geneva Grace Raymond from Gordon Ellis………………………………………………….$100

On behalf of Lauren & Caroline Hester from Andrea Hester………………………..$50

To all in need – Rosie and Qiggly, from Jim Fitch…………………………………………$100

In memory of Lindy, by his parents, Richard & Norma Coughlin…………..$100

Bolduc Eye Care…………………………….$100

Merry Christmas! Patrice Vierra…….$50

Merry Christmas! Joan & Bob Nigro……………………………………………….$150

In honor of our children, Matthew, Kali, Charles & Rony from Gail & Bruce Small…………………………………………………$50

In memory of Rick by Dolores Brown and Eva Mansfield……………………………$25

Mary Chris Semrow………………………..$125

Why not? Pay it forward! Patricia Harwood………………………………………….$50