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 $27,235.10

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

We are in need of help this year because we just got our first rent-to-own home and I ended up being between jobs and getting myself into a bad spot. I have two boys, ages 4 and 2. Their father is on disability, but it’s just not enough to pay the bills.

Thank you so much for all you do,

Mother in a bad spot

DONATIONS:

Merry Christmas to the children of Maine…$150

Gerry Murray…$100

In memory of my grandfather, George Grise, who loved little children…$25

Paul Loring…$100

In memory of Susan J. Stevens. We miss you so much. Love Dad, Mom, Rick, Eric & Tim…$100

Merry Christmas! Robert Savoy…$100

In memory of Bud & Helen Elwell…$50

In memory of Tommy & Robert Leo…$50

Beverley Esson…$200

In memory of Flora & Walter Perkins…$100

Merry Christmas! Lorraine Sarno…$10

Anonymous…$100

In lieu of gifts for family & friends, from Dick & Evie Tonneson…$500

Lions Club of Cape Elizabeth…$200

Richard & Kimberly Brooks…$100

Darryl Arsenault…$20

Merry Christmas to the children! From McCormick & Bouchard Eyecare…$150

Whitney Drake…$150

In memory of Linda J. Doughty from Judith Currier…$100

Donations from Cumberland County Employees…$465

To make happy memories…$30

In memory of Don Clark from his family…$50

In memory of Pumpkin Kitty…$20

Clint Strout & Sandy Johnson…$100

Paul Andrade…$30

Arnold Howe…$25

Eva Giro…$25

In memory of Roger & Idolyn Dunning…$100

In memory of Ernest & Coralie Kinney…$100

Nina Comiskey…$100

Wishing you Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! From Phil & Diane …$100

Bunker, the Cat…$50

Joanne & Kenneth Rowe..$50

In loving memory of my husband, Leroy Rand – Joan…$25

In memory of Mandy…$30

In memory of Mary & Faye Ware…$100

Jean Perkins…$25

George & Ruth Goforth…$100

Just a friend – for Tom…$25

Peace & Joy! The Clark family…$100

In memory of Allison Broadbrent Brahm…$50

Laddie & Joan Deemer…$200

For all our children, past and present…$25

In lieu of Christmas cards, Janice & Keith Rogers…$30

Year to date: $27,235.10