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 $72,614.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I am a single mom with three kids. My ex-husband does not pay child support or care for the kids, so I struggle every day. I just want my kids to have an amazing Christmas this year. They have been through a lot. I am doing my best to make their life as normal as possible. So I thank you for this help.

Mother struggling to make life normal


Peter & Caitlin Kane $100

Michael and Barbara Frost and Family $100

Merry Christmas:Dan,Connie,Danielle and Brooke …$100

In loving memory of Paula Ross, Stan and Nancy Fernald and Hildur McDougall $50

In loving memory of Edwin Cleaves, Shirley Grant and Louie Atripaldi from Skip and Sue McDougall $50

From “Honey Bunny” to all the children $30

Anonymous $100

In memory of Dorothy Legassie from her family $300

In Oleg’s honor from Kristen Damuth $25

For Paul’s granddaughters – Sonya, Mary Rose and Stella from Jeanette Sferes $300

Alfred Fick Jr and Jahn S. Starr $30

Jim and Liz Maier $100

Kathryn Kelly $20

Loving memory of Henry Binder from Dauna Binder $100

Anonymous $50

In loving memory of my Dad Philip Robichaud – Jill Nadeau $100

In memory of Grammy and Grampy Sandberg – Al and Dottie Lappin $25

Thanks for all you do for the children – Al and Dottie Lappin $50

Merry Christmas – Love, Anne & Bob Hall $50

In Memory of Dad and Sammy – Robert Beith $25

In loving memory of Bill Barron – Elizabeth Barron $25

In memory of Barry Campbell – Anonymous $100

In memory of Snowdell Holden of Jackman – Richard & Nancy Long $25

In memory of the Conat, Reed & McAloney families – Dorothy & Ed McAloney $50

For Matthew Robinson from David & Gail Robinson $100

Elizabeth Weir $50

Loving memories of Joann & Guy Rowe – Love, Lisa, Lindy, Miranda & Carley $50

In loving memory of Mike and Theodora Dickey – Stephanie and Mike Ruel $100

For our wonderful Grandkids; Avah, Liam, Kaleb and Sarah $25

In memory of Ken Cleaves and Lane Fraser both of whom loved Christmas – Ethel & Ernie Carmolli $50

In Memory of my three bull mastiffs ; Zeus, Buttercup & Mo – Martha Galli $25

In memory of Carrie L. Densmore Haley who passed away Dec. 10 – From her sisters,uncles and cousins $100

In memory of Roscoe & Evelyn Seabury who loved Christmas! – Marjorie Estabrook $100

Deborah Dugas $25

For family – Joan and George Connick $50

Judy Benoit $100

To add some happiness and joy for a special girl or boy. – Rick and Irene O’Donnell $25

In Memory of Nancy Foshay and Timothy – Don Foshay $200

David Hiatt $100

Linell and Bob Slaktowicz $25

Christine Palmer $100

From John, Abby, Donald and Caroline $100

In memory of Doris and Joseph Foley from Thomas Foley $250

In The Memory of Wm. C. Mitton – Bruce Mitton $250

In The Memory of Christopher J. Heavey – Bruce Mitton $250

For Harrison Wirth from Theodore Wirth $50

Thank you for helping us have a Christmas – Jason Stults $25

Anonymous $100

Christmas in the heart puts Christmas in the air. Joyous Christmas to all children from United Ins. in honor of Rhonda Dearden $25

Merry Christmas to the children of Maine $50

In honor of the Tuesday Bridge Ladies $30

From Speedy Stop $500

In memory of our daughter Lenn Jane Foley from Robert & Maryanne Foley $100

In memory of Harry Burnham of Limerick – Ted Baltas Jr $50

In memory of Rita Baltas who loved Christmas!!! – Ted Baltas $50

In memory of Rebecca Fox Carr and Howard Fox from Bill Carr $25

In honor of Mary Melville $100

Merry Christmas from Mia and Oliver $100

In celebration of Yum $50

Merry Christmas – Sabre, Ollie, Otis $25

In Memory of Whit Steele $50

For Dad $100

Year-to-date: $72,614.10

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