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 $80,374.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I’ve been raising my son for 11 years and it’s a struggle. My expenses are more than I receive. My mother helps out with some gas and food whenever she can.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Mother who can’t pay basic expenses


Santa by Design! Coffee by Design fundraiser including gifts from Pauline Kane, $20, CBD Elf, $20, Teddy Piper, $10 $830

In memory of “Nechoh” Tower $1,000

Loving memory – Debra O’Brion – in the hearts of her family, who love and miss her dearly. The Chases, the Petersons, the O’Brions $400

AAA Energy Service Co. With Lisa, Mike, Myles, Lisa, Dan, Dave, Peter, Beth, Matt, Aaron, Jen $890

Merry Christmas ! Lexxi, Pennie & Paws $500

Tina and Lester $50

Georgie, Rusty, Mittens and Fluffy $40

Jane Barry Hartwell $100

William A. Pond Sr. $200

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Soule $100

Thomas Mckenny .$500

In memory of Bob, who loved children – Love, Betsy $25

In loving memory of Del, Keith, Peg and Paul – Jack and Pat $100

In memory of John Ketchem, a dear friend to all $75

John Jay Hall $20

In loving memory of my Mom and Dad, Cliff & Gerry Ashley – from daughter Joan $20

In memory of Johnny and his Dad $20

In memory of Barbara Schirmer $25

In memory of “LK Case” $50

In loving memory of my dad, Irving Poliner, from Chuck Poliner $50

Jane W. Rowell $100

In memory of all Moms – Ronnie Small $150

Merry Christmas! Thank you, Lord, for your goodness and in memory of my mother, Mary, who loved Christmas and children $20

Susan C. Stride $15

In memory of Norman and Florence Waite $100

For Alanna, Sam, Jordan, Noah, Lara, Maria, Ethan, Dara, Finn, Oliver, James and Meriwether $300

Friends of Bow Street Market $150

In loving memory of Jack Hines, from the family $25

In loving memory of my husband, Mike Johnston Sr., and my daughter Linda, from Dale Johnston $25

For the kids $50

Spurwink Rod & Gun Club $100

In memory of my mother, Charlie Adams, from Jane Parker $150

Anonymous $25

Donald and Patricia Sandos $100

Portland Press Herald Toy Fund Victoria Mansion Fundraiser $2,235

Year-to-date: $80,374.10