Susan Lindsay is simply devoted to kids. Her kids, her grandkids, kids she’s never met and, especially at this time of year, kids who are going through hard times.

“I’ve always told people I was meant to be a grandmother,” Lindsay said. “I’m just a firm believer in you help kids however you can help kids.”

She is one of the countless grandparents whose soft spot for children translates into annual gifts to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund, which uses donations from readers to buy holiday gifts for thousands of children who might otherwise not have any gifts to unwrap.

And, like many grandparents, her donation each year is made in honor of her grandchildren. This year, $100 arrived “In Honor of My grandchildren – Brandon, Connor, Samantha and ‘soon,’ Trevor.”

Lindsay grew up in Falmouth and now lives in Windham, and supporting the charity has always been a part of her holiday season. “I just think every kid should have something to open on Christmas or whatever their holiday is.”

Her first grandchild, Brandon, was born 26 years ago. “I vowed from that point on I would always give to the (fund) in honor of my grandson.”

When his brother Connor was born three years later, she added his name and doubled the donation from $25 to $50.

Her soon-to-be-2-year-old granddaughter, Samantha, pushed the donation up another $25. Grandson Trevor is expected in January, so Lindsay decided to give him a head start and kicked in another $25.

Lindsay also has made sure to pass on her philosophy of kindness to her grandkids.

“My grandsons Brandon and Connor know that when I kick the bucket, they are to take on their individual responsibilities,” she said. That means they are each expected to send at least $25 to the toy fund each year, plus another $25 each for Samantha and Trevor if they’re not ready to take over their own donations.

It’s possible Lindsay will provide a gentle reminder Christmas morning, when she will once again be cooking breakfast for all the kids and grandkids.

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts is using donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents. Bruce Roberts was the original pen name of the newspaper columnist who co-founded the fund in 1949.

The fund – now in its 68th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties.

Applications can be downloaded at pressheraldtoyfund.org or picked up at the Press Herald’s Welcome Center at 295 Gannett Drive in South Portland. Call 791-6672 to have one mailed to you.

Donations to help buy the toys can be made at pressheraldtoyfund.org 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.

For more information, go to: <URL destination=””>pressheraldtoyfund.org.

</URL>See more stories about the fund at pressherald.com/press-herald-toy-fund/.

PRESS HERALD TOY FUND DONATIONS

In loving memory of our parents, Stan & Ruth Blake & our sister, Janet Blake. Linda Cooper and Bonnie Kam $50

Brendan & Super P $30

Ronald & Patricia Harwood $50

Richard & Joan Brooks $600

In honor of our three beautiful grandchildren – Abel, Max & Sadie $75

In memory of our parents – Paul & Peg Garvin, and Keith & Del Libby $75

Polly Carmichael $50

In memory of MKS $50

Chase M. Libby $50

James & Mary Currie $50

Merry Christmas from Russ Lunt $20

In loving memory of Doris Lyons, from Gracie & Dick $100

Merry Christmas! Everest & Mackenzie Freeman $25

In memory of Connie Tripp $25

Anonymous $200

Frank & Connie Harrison $25

William Poole $50

C. Elizabeth Towsey $10

Steve Lease $100

In memory of Jimmy & Kay $20

In memory of Roscoe, Evelyn Seabury, Patricia Krieger & Barbara Estabrook $100

Judith & David Brown $50

Year-to-date total $14,166