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 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 $31,210.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

Our daughter will be 3 years old on January 2. She loves the movie “Frozen” and also loves SpongeBob and Shrek. Our son was a year old in September and he loves SpongeBob and super hero stuff (like his dad). My husband is in between jobs and I stay home with the kids. We are staying with a friend and our expenses are more than we have coming in. It’s been difficult to pay bills and save for our own place.

We really appreciate any help we can get. Thank you very much.

Grateful mother of two


Alan & Carol Sockloff…$100

In memory of my wonderful wife, Joyce!…$200


In memory of George – Lucy – Arnie ….$25


In memory of Dorothy Bruney…$50

In memory of my husband, Ronnie …$50

In memory of Bob Hamblen, from Mary, John, Terry & Steve$25

Denise Morrill…$50

Judith & Walter Deskus… $100

Levina Carette…$20

Thomas & Catharine Masterson…$100


In memory of Georgie Gormley…$100

In loving memory of Bob & Derek Simmons…$50

In memory of Steven, Don, Brendan Keating..$100

In memory of our grandchildren – Benjamin Clough and Seamus Nee …$50

In memory of my Dad…$25

In loving memory of Ralph & Hazel Moore, Elizabeth McKague and Roland Hughes…$20

In memory of my K9 neighbor – Baxter…$50

In loving memory of our parents, Stan & Ruth Blake and our sister, Janet Blake, from Linda Cooper and Bonnie Kam…$40

The Gorham Yarn Crafters…$20

Merry Christmas! Heather, Neil, Ainsley & Lexie Jamieson….$200

In memory of our grandfather, Robert Beith, who launched this Toy Fund …$100

Alec Tippie 10th birthday – donations to the Toy Fund in lieu of presents…$150

Plastic & Hand employee jean day…$115


Tom & Elna Stone…$50

In memory of Ann Waterhouse:…$50

To all children, who need love, from Dorothy Kimball…$50

In memory of Bertha, who loved children…$500

A joyous Christmas to all the children! From Nicholas and Andrew Varipatis…$25

In memory of Martha Ann Hartford by Buzz & Sandra Hartford…$50

Nancy Peck…$50

Merry Christmas! Evelyn & Steve…$100

In loving memory of Jean Paul Moreau…$50

From the Putnam children, grandchildren and great-grandson…$250

Year to date: $31,210.10