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 $54,203.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I’m a dad who’s trying to do the best for his family and just need a help up. I’ve been out of work for three months and have found it very hard to get things back on track. Thank God for you and the people like you. It’s just been so very hard not being able to do for my family like I need to. Just the little things in life mean so much. Family is most important.

Thank you.

Out-of-work father

DONATIONS

Anonymous … $25

From Westbrook Seniors … $100

In memory of Henry and Jeanette Gagnon and daughters Susan and Diane … $200

In loving memory of John S. MacKenzie, from Eleanor MacKenzie … $25

In loving memory of my dad, John S. MacKenzie, from Carolyn A. Bowers … $10

In memory of Betty Gribbin, from Peter Gribbin … $50

In memory of our loved ones, from Harold Warren and Dolores Carver … $100

In memory of our grandson, Dominic Mancini, from Chris and Cindy Harvey … $50

Dorothy Bruce … $50

In memory of Maxine Dow … $50

In loving memory of John J. Curran Sr. and Paul D. Curran, from Eunice Curran … $100

In honor of Boston and Jackson Schreiber, from Edward and Jackie Robinson … $50

In memory of Diana Candage, from John and Pamela Ames II … $25

Tim … $20

In memory of Michael Barstow and Christopher Benner, from Alice and Henry Barstow … $100

Sandra Adinolfi … $20

In loving memory of Babe and Podge … $100

Anonymous … $17

Carlton and Joan Leach … $100

Jeffrey and Maricel Hahn … $50

Merry Xmas from Bruce and Connie … $50

VFW Men’s Auxiliary Post 6859 … $100

Cynthia Frye-Macomber and Robert Macomber … $50

In memory of Pearl and Edmund Conley and Norman and Alda Roy. Merry Christmas! … $50

C. Francis Egan … $50

Merry Christmas, everyone! From Pat and Steve Cheney … $100

In memory of my Mom, Ruth Hamm, who donated every year. Miss her so much, Love, Mary Turner … $100

In memory of Ronald S. Leeman, from Gerry … $25

Ray Kelso … $200

Millie and Gillie … $100

In loving memory of my husband … $50

Anonymous … $50

In loving memory of our grandparents, Blanche and Joe Capelluti, from Jill and Andrew … $50

From the Gorham Superintendent’s Office … $130

Joan and Andy Marvin … $25

Anonymous … $100

In honor of my parents, Carolyn and Peter Corliss, from Maria Odlin … $100

In memory of Georges S. Hayzaboon Abourjelly, from Mark … $1

Ripon Haskell … $50

In loving memory of Ariana and Gavino … $100

Year to date: $54,203.10