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 toy fund – now in its 65th year – is accepting applications 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 $22,975.10.

Here is a letter from a parent:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I have an 8-year-old son who is almost 9. His dad passed away in February and this will be our first Christmas without him. My son’s birthday is 10 days before Christmas, so this season will be rough.

I do not have much money so it will be hard to give him gifts for his birthday and Christmas. I hope you can help me out so that these days are OK despite missing his father.

Thank you,

Mom helping son with loss

DONATIONS:

Happier holidays to all who are still struggling, from Liz & Robert Wagner $100

In memory of Caoimhe $1,000

In memory of Foxy $10

To Irene & Bob and Barbara Leo $50

Happy Holidays! $100

Anonymous $100

Rick and Charlotte Coggins $100

Merry Christmas from David & Elaine Larsen $100

The Spencers $100

In loving memory of Auntie June $200

In memory of Helen Bischof, from Libby Bischof $50

To bring joy and hope to children’s day $200

Merry Christmas! From Lizbeth Duncan $35

In memory of Rita Ready and Harriet Brown $100

In memory of John and Joyce Trainor and Marcia Schneider $25

From someone who has been in those shoes, from David Marsh $100

In memory of my mother, Diane Cavanaugh, from Kelley Norton $100

To those who need it, from Ron Brown and Jill Brown $50

In memory of Frank Swift from Elizabeth Kayetta $25

Happy holidays! 🙂 from Jennifer Long $50

Merry Christmas from Phil, Susan, Emma and Jager! $25

Merry Christmas! From Richard Steinmetz DPM & Staff $100

Teresa and Don Holden $100

In memory of Woody Bigelow, from Deb, John and Conor $100

In memory of Sean Casey, from Mom, Dad and Conor $100

In loving memory of Justin $25

In honor of our generous grandparents, from Ellen and Eric Bloch $100

Year to date: $22,975.10