December 25, 2010

Bruce Roberts Toy Fund: Now 81, she 'never forgot' the help

Recent letters from single mothers serve to remind a great-grandmother of her hard times 50 years ago.

By John Richardson jrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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HOW TO DONATE

GIFT PACKS: The Bruce Roberts Toy Fund uses donations from readers of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram to buy gifts for children in need, then distributes the gifts. The fund serves Cumberland, York, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Knox counties. Gift packs, for children 18 and younger, contain items appropriate to each child’s age and gender.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Send donations to the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund, P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112. Checks should be made out to the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund. Contributions are also accepted at the newspaper’s offices on the fifth floor at One City Center in Portland and online. Donations of securities are also accepted.

DONORS: Names of donors will be published in the Press Herald/Telegram and listed on www.pressherald.com.

Hamm said she knows how much the toy fund's help means for those families today. She also knows that tough times do get better.

She has repaid the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund many times over, donating what she can afford each year, usually anonymously. This year, her $20 check came with a small note of thanks for giving her family a happy Christmas all those years ago.

"It's a wonderful, wonderful outfit. It was a big help to me," she said. "I never forgot."

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

jrichardson@pressherald.com

LATEST DONATIONS

Here are the latest donations to the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund:

Previously acknowledged: $94,607.06

In memory of David and Mary Whorf -- Steven Whorf $2,000

Staff at CHADWICK--BaROSS Inc., Westbrook $500

In honor of the staff at Maine Medical and Mercy Hospitals by Maine Surgical Care Group $3,000

Employees Community Action Committee, Employees of General Dynamics -- Saco $500

Smile! -- Maine Professional Photographers Association $200

Steven and Martina Leibiger $200

Studio For the Living Arts Dance Center, Gray, Pulse Dance Company performance 12/9/10 $2,000

Anonymous $70.88

Margaret H. Smith $2,504.34

Mrs. Small's 2nd Grade Class, Windham Primary School $100

Portland Newspaper Guild -- Local 31128 $250

In loving memory of our granddaughter, Monique -- Merrie and Tony Accuosti $1,000

Pamela Anzelc, D.D.S. $500

Mrs. Morton's 4th grade class, Manchester School, Windham $50

Mrs. Hawthorne's 2nd grade class, Windham Primary School $180

The children of Homeroom Emery--12, Waynflete School $400

In memory of Nathan Eloian -- David and Mark $100

Sevee & Maher Engineers Inc. $500

Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout Pack #47, Scarborough, Silent Auction Bake Sale $475

Employee Fund Committee, Brockway-Smith Co. $200

Diversified Communications $1,000

Carol Everett $50

12/18/10 Portland Pirates vs. Manchester Monarchs hockey game $372.60

Diane and Carl Walp $50

In loving memory of Manny $50

Anonymous $50

Mary Turner $50

In memory of Jeff and Nana. Love forever, The Charlton family $20

Anonymous $10

Merry Christmas to All! -- M.M. $50

In loving memory of Larry and Brenton Soule -- Jean C. Soule $50

In memory of our beloved friend, Anne Farley -- The Cathedral Folk Group $75

In memory of our parents, Mr. Warren Herbert and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ducharme $25

In loving memory of Rick Betters $25

In memory of Jim & Janice Owen $50

Merry Christmas -- Christine Creighton $50

Peter Santoro $25

Donna Wagley $35

In memory of Pa Pa $25

Amy Woodhouse & Tobey Scott $200

Mr. and Mrs Jack Kingston $100

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Martin $100

IATSE Portland Local No. 114 $250

Ronnie Small, Friends of Bow Street Market $200

Mary Ann Rost $25

In memory of Paul and Peg Garvin -- Dean and Donna Barbalias $25

Bill and Debra Mulvey $100

In memory of Zachary Lanouette -- Emery and Barbara Howarth $50

Scott Woodward $50

Roger and Sally Knight $50

In memory of William Walton -- Gregory Reynolds $250

In memory of Elmer and Marion Hildebrand and Eva Jackson -- Richard and Linda Hildebrand $100

In memory of William Walton -- Sarah Lucas and T.C. Hamlin $25

In memory of Joyce and Don and Bernice & Ron -- Cindi Chapman $100

James Sidelinger $300

In loving memory of Justin -- Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Thomas $25

Today's total: $18,742.82

Total to date: $113,349.88

 

Children across the state woke up early this morning to a scene that has brought excitement and joy to generations.

It's not that they were surprised, mind you. They always believed that Santa would bring gifts to unwrap.

For thousands of parents, on the other hand, it was far from a sure thing.

Readers of The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram made sure that parents had toys to give to more than 7,000 Maine children who might otherwise have gone without.

They did it by donating money -- $113,350 so far this year -- to the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund, a 61-year-old charity that protects the magic of Christmas morning from the sometimes-hard realities of life, such as unemployment, illness, divorce and poverty.

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