Like that other guy who makes toy deliveries every December, the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund has its own special vehicle to bring toys to deserving boys and girls.

It has 18 wheels, a 53-foot trailer and the name Northeast Transport printed on its side.

For more than 20 years, the Waldoboro-based company has donated its services, including a big rig and a jolly driver with a license to drive it.

The semi pulled up to the toy fund warehouse at the end of last week and was loaded with more than 100 bags of toys, crafts and electronics. That load went to several locations in Knox and Lincoln counties, where social services agencies will hand out the toys to grateful parents who asked for help so their children would feel joy, not disappointment, during the holidays.

Northeast Transport Owner Jeff Payson says the delivery service is an annual highlight for his company and its drivers. He makes sure to give everyone a turn.

“We get as much out of it as the kids do,” Payson said.

This year, the toy fund driver was Jim Hastings, whose regular route for the company has been driving fresh Maine seafood to California and then returning with fresh produce.

“I was pretty grateful for it,” Hastings said of the toy fund gig. “It was a nice thing to be asked to do. Great to spread the joy, you know.”

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.

 

TOY FUND DONATIONS

Anonymous $200

In memory of Phil & Connie Boston and June Myers from David & Carol $200

Ken & Kathy Moran $100

George & Ruth Goforth $100

The Roofa $100

Care of Dad & Mom $100

Anonymous $45

Dennis & Lisa Fitzgibbons $100

In memory of Sally Eskilon $50

In memory of Earle Eskilon, who worked on Bruce Roberts in the early years $50

In memory of Babe and Podge $100

In memory of Eddie Stanhope Jr. $35

Violet & Maya Pike $40

In memory of L. Philip Bernier $100

Wend & Paul Coleman $50

Merry Christmas to all!! Tom & Judy $100

In loving memory of Grandma Dot – the Irish family $100

Katie, Maggie and Gregory $25

In memory of Stanley and Violet Oliver $50

Merry Christmas to all in memory of Bob Davis from Betsy …$25

Florence & Ian White $75

Hutchins Family $250

Jacob & Terry Gerritsen $100

Edward & Catherine Peterson $100

Diane & Carl Walp $50

Daniel & Ellen Richards $100

Francis May $100

In grateful thanks for all we have, Deborah & Tom Coward $100

In memory of Constance Kane Tripp – Dave and Jan Holbrook and family $25

Total Year to date $37,274