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 $91,643.10.

Here is a letter from one such applicant:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

I have full custody of my oldest son, who will be 14 in April. He is a great child making lots of progress in middle school. I split custody of my youngest child with his mother. I enjoy all the moments we get to spend together. He is very happy, outgoing and full of energy. I am truly blessed.

I really need help this Christmas. Earlier this year, after working as a security officer for eight months, I ended up having a concussion while on the job. The injury cost me my job. I fell behind on many bills and even after applying to 40-plus jobs, I have had no luck. I want my kids to have a great Christmas and will be greatly appreciative of whatever you can do. Thank you,

Out of work father of two

DONATIONS

Brown School Community, Mrs. Baker’s and Mrs. DiRobbio’s class, South Portland Me……………………$513.74

Chebeague Island Fire…………………$140

Barbara Marr…………………………..…$75.00

Eleanor M Ferrier…………………………….$25

In memory of Gram and Bump! Merry Christmas from Susan Soule…………$25

Wayne A Brookings………………………$100

Larry Pixley and Robin Ratcliffe…$200 In memory of Ella and Bick……………$25

In memory of Gramma “D”… …..…$200

For the Toy Fund from Eugene and Theodora Paschke……………………….…$50

Merry Christmas! Kathleen Wilson …………………………………..……………………………..$30

John P. Hughes…………………………..…$200

Anonymous…………………………………….$40

In loving memory of Jason A. Yates from Arthur and Florence Wescott…$30

Maine Medical Center, Division of Facilities Management…………………$450

In lieu of gifts for Bruce and Pam Bicknell from Brian Bicknell…………$100

“Luna and Guinness” ………………….…$50

Joline Geary……………………………………..$25

Melvin Fineberg……………………………….$25

Gary Perlmutter………………………………$40

In memory of my brothers at Christmas time; Tim, Peter and Michael from Marie Manganello…..$150

In honor of: The Sterling, Dominicus, Lucyann Giobbi and Auclair families from Marie Manganello…………………..$75

In loving memory of my sister Lora who loved Xmas, Connie Lavigne…$25

Gaston Lee……………………………………….$50

“I love the kids!” Carolyn Bird… …..$50

In Memory of Laura from Susan Mendillo……………………………………………$25

For the Children from the Greenleafs ……………………………………………………..$25.00

In memory of Bill and Max…………..$100

In memory of loved ones from Nancy and David Curit……………………………….$50

In loving memory of Bob Thomas..$50

From Punkin and Me……………………….$25

In memory of Diana – Thornton Candage…………………………………………..$25

Merry Christmas! – William Poole…$50

The First Congregational Church Of North Yarmouth, UCC……………….…$200

In memoriam to Mildred and Pete Ballard and Lee and Ernie Farnsworth from the kids and the grandkids…..$25 Happy Christmas from Little Lukas………………………………………………$100

Patricia Rice…………………………………….$50

Best Wishes from Drumlin Environmental LLC ……………………….$150

Anonymous……………………………………$100

From the Employees of Insurance

Trust …………………………………………………$50

Diane & John Devlin……………………….$25

In memory of Mary Blake, Rolene Frost and Danny Blake who all loved Christmas! – Peggy Bisco………………$45

In memory of Estelle & Eleanor who both loved Christmas. Mary Thorp ………………………………………………………………$100

In honor of our granddaughter, Aubree, from Grammie and Grampie Simpson……………………………………………$25

Year-to-date: $91,643.10