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 – provides toys for needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties.

Donations to help buy the toys are always accepted and 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 $100,771.10.

Here is a letter from one applicant for help:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

We are struggling this year with basic necessities, so we appreciate anything you can do for my granddaughter. Times are very hard and due to a lack of a vehicle, my daughter couldn’t keep her job and is currently seeking employment.

Any help would be appreciated for my granddaughter as she is such a sweet girl. And with a broken family and believing in Santa, it would be hard this year if we can’t provide gifts.

Thank you,

Grateful grandparent


Students and Staff of MSAD 51: K-8 annual penny drive $2,020

Ken & Jill Ryan $100

In loving memory of our grandparents: Mina & Joe Lomac from Julie and Steve Tselikis $50

Portland Pipe Line Corporation $250

The Ocean Avenue Elementary School Portland, School Staff $201

Winthrop Winch $100

In memory of Mary Jane Jackson from her husband Ralph and family, Stephen, Kellie,Ruth,Scott,Sara Jane $150

Merry Christmas to all the police men and women that serve and protect us every day…Paul& Tracey Greenwood $200

For Our Troops Overseas from Frank G. Leavitt $25

Donated by Gerry & Judy in memory of their parents – Sena & Warren Herbert and Irene & Henry DuCharme $25

John Codman,Jr $100

In Loving Memory of Cain from Ruth Putney $30

In Memory of Nana and Papa Slipp and Grampa Harry from Gary and Kim Slipp $100

John McClean $50

In Memory of Sally Eskilson from Peter Eskilson $50

In memory of Earle Eskilson from Peter Eskilson $50

Sylvia Clarke $25

Katie, Maggie and Gregory $25

In Memory of our parents – Anna & Domenico Floridino and Phyllis Peverada $100

From the employees and customers of Redlon-Johnson Co. Bless you for your caring and commitment. Thank you from us all $457

Tom and Diana Allen $250

Margaret Burby $100

Matt and Will $250

Thank you for all you do for families in need from Peggy & Jim Folland $100

Linda Coupe $100

In memory of my husband, Phil Lawrence $100

Michael Boissonneault $100

In memory of Susannah B. and her love for children ……………………………………… $100

In Honor of Bruce Marstaller. Love, Wendy, Makeighlee, Braden, Alison and family ……………………………………….. $25

The Porch and Curry Kids ……………………………………….$100

In Memory of Chas Towle Jr from Anthony Curro…….$250

Thanks for all you do! …$100

From the members of the Riverside Womens Golf Association, Portland, Me. $530

In memory of Joe from David Warren $100

In memory of Joe Guertin, who loved toys $50

In gratitude for my 10 beautiful grandchildren, A blessed grammy $500

To our Mother, Wilhemina McKinnon, who loved Christmas. From Marijane, Penny, Jack, Tomi & Bruce $50

In memory of William N Garrity $100

Ellen Eberhardt $25

In loving memory of Edward & Anita Ventura & Barbara Pepper fom Annie & Dale $10

Kathleen Potrepka $25

Dick & Bev $100

Sylvia Kraemer $30

In memory of George & Blackie $10

Mr & Mrs Clifford $100

Nancy Greska $50

Lowell Pease $25

TREEKEEPERS LLC – Johnson’s Aboriculture $250

Merry Christmas from the Floyd Grandchildren – Piper, Scarlett, Dylan & Camdyn $40

Andrea & Dick Hall $200

Mr & Mrs Charles Dodge $100

Chase Libby $50

In memory of Bud and Eddie from Judy Stanhope $40

For the children, from Polly Carmichael $25

Bill Elgee. $50

Sue & Russ Kimball $10

Helen Anderson $50

In memory of David Poirier $20

BRTF, In memory of Dr Ellsworth Reed $200

Mr & Mrs Keith Gerry, Sr $25

Brendan & Super P $30

Michael & Mary Booth $200

Anonymous $100

For John Keenan, who loved family and Christmas $50

Barbara Henckel $200

Janet & Jim Bither, Kennebunk, Me $100

Year-to-date: $100,771.10