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 pressheraldtoyfund.org 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 $$67,204.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I am out of work and am no longer going to be able to work. I am in the process of getting help through the state, but am having trouble keeping my house and putting food on the table.

My children should not have to suffer due to my health. Any help would be appreciated. Again, thank you all soooo much. Merry Christmas.

Mother too sick to work

DONATIONS:

For the children, Marilyn Roberge ………………………………………….$100.00

Anonymous……………………….100.00

In memory of Geraldine and Warren, Anonymous………………$100.00

To honor Maxine Hartford’s “special birthday”, Anonymous…………………………………..$90.00

Anonymous…………………..…$100.00

Andrea and Dick Hall…..…$200.00

Anonymous……………………….$25.00

In loving memory of our Grampa. Robert F. Leighton,Sr. from Meliah Leighton, Jameson Leighton,Kathryn Bois and Kevin Bois……………………………………………….$50.00

Gorham VFW Memorial Post 10879………………………………………….$50.00

Anonymous……………………..$100.00

To honor my son-in-law Earl Grant from Georgette Nadeau……$25.00

Skillin School South Portland, Me Student Council……………….$150.00

John Wall III and Dina Jellison………………………………………$50.00

In Loving Memory of Garrett Brackett. Love Always, Mom,Dad, Alyssa, Libby, and Reegan……………………………………$100.00

Mary Dowd, M.D.,P.A……..$200.00

In Memory of Peter and all the other little angels, Anonymous……………………………….$250.00

Consolidated Home Improvements, Gene Hurteau……….$50.00

In memory of Meredith Crandlemire from Smithwick & Mariners Insurance Co…………………….$100.00

Edwin and Cynthia Heisler ………………………………………………………$100.00

William Cook, Lori Cook…$100.00

In Memory of Herb from Christa Fricke………………………………….$75.00

Anonymous……………………….$25.00

In Memory of Merton, Ellen,Howard,Frankie…………………………$20.00

For Nonnie Josephine……….$25.00

In memory of Maurice, Margaret and Kathy from Michael Nelson ……………………………………..$30.00

For “Cookie Winston”……….$25.00

In loving memory of Arlene and Ben Thompson, Debbie Gilmore, and Martin Arnold from Suzanne Nelson………………………………..$50.00

Donna Katsiaficas……………..$30.00

Ellen McCarthy………………..$500.00

Anonymous………………………$150.00

In honor of Jack from Mim and DBS………………………………….$300.00

Karl and Beth Jacobson…$250.00

Merry Christmas! Tom, Beth, Tyler, and Bobby Pratt………………..$25.00

In memory of Irma Andrews from Charles…………………………….$100.00

In Loving memory of Bentley, Dan Bellino & Rev.&Mrs. Robert Haldane, Sr.Merry Christmas from Dave&Cathy Sawtelle………$50.00

In memory of Joe R. & Casey Family from Pat and Family………………………………………..$25.00

In Loving memory of our grandparents:Elizabeth and Guy Dicentes,Jr. from Anthony, Peter & Lisa…………………………………….$50.00

From Joyce and Bill Chayer …………………………………………………..…$150.00

Janet Page…………………………$25.00

Merry Christmas! Tom and Judy Jagger………………………………$100.00

In loving memory of our parents, Ed and Ruby Lothrop and Joe and Gladys Labbe from Dick and Barbara Labbe…………………..$25.00

Richard McIntosh………………$25.00

In memory of Joe and Lois Page,who always made Christmas special for their kids……….$100.00

In Lieu of Xmas cards. The Wallace Family……………………….$100.00

Year-to-date: $67,204.10