The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund uses donations from readers to provide toys to about 7,000 Maine children each year who might otherwise not have received 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 continue to be accepted and will help buy toys for next Christmas. Donations 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 season is $250,000. The total raised so far is $112,263.10.

Here is a letter from one applicant received in the weeks before Christmas:

Dear Press Herald Toy Fund,

My family and I have been homeless since July of 2014. Last year, in October 2013, I lost my job of six years, which was the primary income for our family. My fiance lost his job of 10 years only two weeks after I lost my job. My fiance and I have never struggled with this much of a financial burden since we had our children.

Our family has been understanding and helpful by giving us a couch to sleep on with our two girls until we become able to find a new home. (At the time the letter was written, the family hoped to move into a new home by the end of December.) There is just not enough money coming in to provide our girls with the Christmas they deserve. Thank you for your time and help.

Mother of two hoping to find a job and a home


Murray Family Foundation $200

Dave and Deanna Harper $25

Art and Liz DiMauro $50

Kathy and Al Johnson$50

In memory of Mr. and Mrs. JHC Sr and Mr. and Mrs. JHC Jr. $50

Kathleen and Kenneth Pierce $100

In memory of Laurence S. Allen Sr. and Lou F. (Allen) Nichols, from Beverly, Missy, Larry, Donna and Lonnie Allen $100

In memory of Mom and Pop Perry, from Beverly and Lonnie Allen $100

In memory of Mrs. Sally Simpson, from Beverly and Lonnie Allen $50

With love to my Mom and Dad – Jill DeWitt $30

Clayton Hoak $50

Unity Lodge #3$ 500

Tom Donaldson, Portfolio Management $100

Deborah McMillen $10

From a Mason – Louis and Paula Abbotoni $100

In memory of Paul and Ann Chandler, from Paul and Melanie Stewart $75

In memory of George A. Stewart Jr. from Paul and Melanie Stewart $75

In the spirit of Christmas! $250

Merry Christmas! Mark and Margaret Barrasso $50

Wishing everyone some Christmas magic! Ward Hand $100

In honor of the father of the 12 Cs $50

Year to date: $112,263.10