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 $7,815. Each day of the toy fund campaign, the Press Herald will run a letter from an applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I am the husband of a beautiful wife and father of three of the best children a father could ask for. I work full time and my wife works part time. We live paycheck to paycheck, every day is a struggle. I try to do the best for my wife and kids and sometimes my best doesn’t make ends meet. I ask for your help for my children’s sake as I would like nothing but the best for them. I hope that you see me as a fit candidate to help.

Thank you,

Hopeful father of three

DONATIONS

To Maine Children…$100

In memory of Robert P. and Carolyn B. Snyder from Robert Snyder…$100

Anonymous…$25

In loving memory of Patricia M. Talbot, from Dick and Cheryl Talbot…$50

Beacon Chapter OES #202…$50

May you share in the joy that Christmas brings! – Betty Lou Trufant …$50

Mackenzie Pizzo…$1,000

In memory of Stanley F. Sampson Jr. from Ardean Pike… $50

From Pop…$30

Terry LaPointe and Kathy LaPointe …$50

Portland Longshoremen’s Benevolent Society ILA Local 861…$250

In memory of Irvin Cyr, Love Carmen and Meghan Bailey…$10

Women of the Moose Portland #1971 …$75

Bruce and Marion Hopkins…$125

In loving memory of “Big Bad Juan” …$75

In memory of my beloved husband, Bob – Simone LaPierre …$25

Chebeague Island Thrift Shop…$25

Year to date: $7,815.