The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund plans to use 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 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 $19,830.10.

Here is a letter from a parent:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I am 20 years old and a single mother of one son. I am currently in school and working part-time. I struggle from month to month, so me being on my own makes the holidays very tough. I have been stressing out about Christmas and how I will be be able to buy gifts.

I am in desperate need of help this year and I would be so grateful if I could be accepted by this program. I thank you guys so much for what you do for the families in need. It truly means a lot.

Thank you,

Stressed single mother


In memory of my mom, who loved Christmas! From Margaret Perkins$25

Charles and Marjorie Hodges$50

Two Union St LLC$250

Carol Grundstrom$100

Richard Lemieux$200

Peter Cinelli$50

George and Elizabeth Moberg, in lieu of Xmas cards$100

Irene Mulkern$50

Amos and Leona Merrow$300

A little help for the children, from John and Tina Aresta$15

Patricia Messner$35

For the children from Nancy Dout$100

Jim and Maureen Gorman$2,000

William and Marion Vierow$80

Patricia Buttner$30

Rejoice in the season! Myke and Lynda Leavitt$100

Robert Tweedie$75

Merry Christmas and good luck on reaching your goal!$25

In memory of Bernadette (Bunny) Clarke$1,000

Francis Madeira$40

In honor of our grandsons, Sam, Kevin and Jake, from Susan and Jerry Goldberg$150

In loving memory of Darlene and Larry Holston$50

Ellen J. McDonough$100

Judy and Joe Fagone$50

Regan and Russell$100

Year to date: $19,830.10