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 $58,173.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

Our little family is on Social Security disability income. This year, we do not have any money for our son for Christmas. We would be extremely grateful if your program could help us this year.

Our son is a 3-year-old with autism and he doesn’t quite understand Christmas yet, but we would love to have Santa leave a special gift under the tree for him.

Grateful parents hoping for special gift

DONATIONS

In memory of our daughter, Priscilla Marie Noyes, who passed away June 23, ’14. Sadly missed by Mom, Dad and family…$25

Merry Christmas to kids from TTLG …$100

To the kids of Maine – Alan and Genny Leathers

…$100

Deb and Bill…$100

In memory of Josie…$50

Merry Christmas!…$35

Merry Christmas, Ma. Sean & Peg…$50

Sara and John Connolly…$25

The Lamberts…$20

In memory of Jessie Abrams…$100

In memory of Mike from Cathy Benoit…$25

In memory of Hedy, who loved to wrap for Bruce

…$50

For Joy at Christmas! Debra Whalen…$50

In memory of my dad, Jim Davis…$500

In loving memory of my husband, Lincoln Guimond, from Patricia Guimond…$25

Merry Christmas from Miki and Don Murray…$100

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!…$250

In memory of my mother, from Karl Thompson…$50

Merry Christmas to the children from Timothy Whitney…$25

In memory of Kyle St. Clair, from Francine Aceto…$10

Happy Christmas!…$50

Merry Christmas!…$20

Christmas love to every child! From Melodie Cook

$100

In memory of Bill and Connie Murphy…$50

In memory of Bob Carleton and Art Thurlow…$50

Merry Christmas Mom, Grandma, Mary with love!.

.$100

In memory of James Lynch, Mary and Ben Lyons

$300

To kids everywhere! From Art and Carol Dresser

$100

From Roxie…$50

From your friends at Nor’easter News…$10

Happy holidays to all!…$50

In memory of Nancy Loeffel, from Debby Maley$50

Best wishes from the PWGA…$50

To all needy children…$500

In memory of Bruce Day…$100

For the child in all of us, from Phil and Leigh…$50

Merry Christmas! From Addison and Preston Lee…$50

For the children!…$100

In loving memory of our T-man! Love, S&M…$25

Hope to make the season brighter…$100

In memory of my dad, Raymond Laverriere, Paula…$25

To those who are no longer with us…$100

Merry Christmas from the Leishman family…$50

Merry Xmas from a dog who loved Pine Point…$100

In honor of Thomas Daniel Bogner…$100

Year to date: $58,173.10