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 $11,940.10. Each day of the toy fund campaign, the Press Herald will run a letter from an applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

My husband and I have been together for 18 years. We have three beautiful children. My husband has been the hardest working man for his family until he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Things have been very difficult. We try to go on and feel like a normal family but the worry of not knowing what is next and when is overwhelming. It takes over at times.

Our children now see us struggle financially each month. There is no extra money left over for Christmas and these three children greatly deserve a nice holiday. Your help would be so appreciated.

Thank you,

Worried mom of three

DONATIONS:

Anonymous…$100

Chuck Fisher…$50

Marilyn & Harold McWilliams…$25

Brian Fox… $10

Aggie White…$75

In memory of Steve & Marie Graney…$25

Lorraine F Pregenzer…$100

VFW Deering Memorial Auxillary 6859…$25

Anonymous…$50

Joan & Arthur Cope…$25

Merry Christmas!! from Gracie & Dick…$25

In memory of Paul & Win Rosendahl…$50

In the name of Ann Lowry…$200

In memory of Mookie…$30

Ken Spirer & Joan Leitzer…$100

Year-to-date: $11,940.10