The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund is using 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 $34,915.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I want to start by saying thank you very much. I have four children – ages 12, 9, 6 and 15 months. I am a single mom working third shift to support my family.

I love my children very much and would like to give them the world. But the reality is that I’m struggling to make ends meet right now. That’s why I need your help this Christmas season. I am going to go back to school and earn a degree someday. But right now I have to try to keep my head above water.

Again, thank you for your help and may God bless you!!!

Hard-working mother of four

DONATIONS:

In loving memory of John Porter Sr., from Grandchildren, Gramps Boys & Papa girls from wife Reta…$30

In memory of James & Eleanor Kehoe and Raymond L Davignon…$100

In memory of Mother Ruby from Burpey & Nancy pond…$25

Kenneth & Nancy Gordon…$200

In memory of Brbara Pearson & Bernice Pringle from Jim & Jane Pringle…$50

Michael & Christine Curci…$50

In memory of loved ones. Love & hugs, BSD…$50

Lots of love to local families short at this time, Michael Bowdler…$75

Grown children, from Yvonne Pepin…$5

Anonymous…$75

In memory of Eunice & Ken Foss from Marjorie & Tom Berman…$100

Frank, Ellen & Albin…$150

Corner Stone Chapter #193 OES Past Matrons Association…$15

In honor of our beautiful grandchildren, Emmerson and Elijah – John & Joan Voyer…$50

Richard Curley…$5

Merry Christmas from Madison, Sydney and Piper…$100

In memory of L Philip Bernier from his family…$100

Remember Kathy, Phil, & Andy Lowell and Kay, Jim & Tom Straub…$50

My kids…$100

Ken and Kathy Brill…$200

John & Arline Greenlee…$50

Edward & Catherine Peterson…$100

In memory of John & Patricia Scanlan…$150

In loving memory of Dadone & Kenny Taliento, Pat Ford, and Peggy Dearden – we miss you! Will & Rhonda…$100

Patricia Kalinoski…$10

In memory of Mon Pere & Gramma Sanderson, Ginger & Nutmeg, who all loved Christmas – Ruth & Robert Kingsbury…$200

From Elves Judy & Charlie…$100

Leslie Lawrence & Paul Holmstrand…$20

Bill & Valerie Sowles…$250

John & Nancy Cummings…$400

Barbara & Nicholas Fowler…$250

Wyman Employees…$250

From Kris, Lexi, Chelsey, Mack & Nikki…$10

In memory of Phil Albert…$25

Nancy Bogg & Mark Kiefner…$35

Merry Christmas!…$50

Merry Christmas from the Stowell family…$100

In memory of our mothers, Anne and Elizabeth, the Watsons…$50

In memory of Michael Robichaud, Scott Robichaud…$25

Cape Elizabeth Lions Club…$250

Year-to-date: $34,915.10