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 $51,480.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

My husband has had three intestinal surgeries in the past four years and was finally able to go back to work two years ago. He is now unable to work due to a neurological issue. I am unable to work because he cannot take care of our 4-year-old twins by himself. He is still fighting to receive disability.

We just want our children to have a few things under the tree at Christmas. Thank you for any help you can give.

Grateful wife and mother


For those less fortunate, in memory of Jerry Cyr – Terri & Bob Regan…$50

In memory of Robert G. Hasson…$50

In loving memory of my father, George Smith, from his daughter, Theresa…$30

Patrick & Sharon Lee…$100

In memory of our grandfather, Robert Beith, who launched this Toy Fund: Susan Wilbur Collier and Jane Wilbur Pelowski…$100

In memory of Irene Kendall and Bob Gagnon…$100

Margaret R. Johnson…$25

Joan W. Moore…$50

In memory of Joseph Perreault Sr. from his family…$50

Josephine Durant…$25

From our dog, Rosie…$50

Cheryl Perdue…$20

In memory of Blanche and Fernald Goulette…$50

In memory of a mother’s love, GTW, Anonymous…$100

Carol Eddy…$50

Betty Shively…$25

In loving memory of John and Elizabeth Shea…$100

In memory of my children – Tim, Tom and Michelle – from Joanne Stackpole…$50

Merry Christmas to the children! John & Linda McCormick…$50

In loving memory of Damaris and Dexter Hunneman, who loved Christmas!…$10

Leona A. Clark…$10

Delores – Linda and Ann…$50

In loving memory of Ruth and Del Sweeney…$100

In memory of Nancy McHugh, and in lieu of Christmas cards, from David McHugh…$100

Donna J. Emery…$20


In memory of Wrigley, from Morris$100

William Blauvelt…$30

In memory of Connie Korda by John Dooley…$150

From Unkie Oak…$25

From Stasia and Earl Goodwin…$50

Mr. and Mrs. Percy Bickford and Harold L. Lewis…$50

From Rudolph…$20

Nancy Johnson…$500

In loving memory of Gram and Papa from Patty Axelsen and family…$200

Year to date: $51,480.10