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 $45,710.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I am a single mom of three, on disability, and my living expenses come close to, and sometimes exceed, my monthly income. Due to my financial situation, I am unable to purchase any gifts at all for my children, and I have no immediate family support to turn to.

All I want is for my children to have a good Christmas and not be disappointed due to my inability to provide extra gifts above our regular living expenses. Anything you could do for us would be greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful holiday,

Mother with nowhere else to turn


In memory of Albert Nelson $25

Merry Christmas! From Ellen, Jeff & Connor Worthing $75

From Bob & Marie Munson $25

In memory of Petra & Ton $100

In loving memory of my husband, Burton D. Bailey, from wife, Faith $25

In memory of Herb Dennison from CEFD #2 $200

John L. Thomas $50

In memory of Rita & Ralph Lovell $20

In memory of Cynthia Lawhorn Oja – the love goes on $75

For the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund, on behalf of the staff at Sevee & Maher Engineers $800

Pamela Padget $50

On behalf of Simmons Wilkes Investment Advisors and High Tower Advisors, LLC of Portland, Maine $500

In honor of Nathan Eloian, from David and Mark $100

In memory of Stanley & Violet Oliver $100

In memory of my parents, Malcolm & Mary Lyons, who always made Christmas special $50

To Patty Bruns on her Christmas birthday $25

In loving memory of Kay $50

William & Frances Weatherbie $40

Anonymous $25

Merry Christmas, the 12 C’s $120

In memory of our daughter, Jennifer Henry, from Phyllis & Donald Chaffee $100

Anonymous $25

In memory of Margaret Goodhue Wilson $50

Robert Knight & Andrew Metvier $50

Grampy Hodgman’s girls – Is, Abby, Anna, Emma and Lucy $25

In memory of Marie $50

In memory of Howard Donnis $25

The Fore St. Gallery $100

In loving memory of Guy Melcher $50

Anonymous $50

In memory of Blanche Huntley, Virgil Plaisted and Louis Peters, who all loved children and Christmas $75

In honor of my sisters, Nancy, Betsey and Mary, from Jerry Angier $150

Diane Ford $25

Janet Kantz $100

Warren Roos Photography $50

In memory of Erin L Talpey – the Dickinson’s $100

Ron Houle and Joyce Thompson $50

Anonymous $35

In memory of Cathy & Ron Shaw, from Paul & Stephanie Castle…$50

In memory of Vincent McKusick… $50

From Rhoke jen able $25

In memory of Althea Noyes $50

Merry Christmas! From Steven Capriola $40

Frank & Deborah Pecoraro $1000

Merry Christmas from Bud & Ginny $100

Merry Christmas! Jack & Virginia Clements $150

In memory of Richard, Margaret, Dick, Bob & Linda Busby $100

Merry Christmas! Yvette Michaud $50

Anonymous $100

Merry Christmas from Gerry & Debbie $30

In loving memory of DOD $100

In memory of our brother, James K. Donahue, from Mary & Frank Blanchard $50

Implemented Solutions LLC $150

Year-to-date $45,710.10