A mother from York County wrote to the Press Herald Toy Fund about her struggle to provide for the three children she is raising alone. Her oldest just turned 10. And her youngest was born in August and has medical problems that make it impossible for her to work.

“My infant has a feeding tube in his stomach and was born with a cleft palate,” she wrote. “So I have to care for him around the clock.”

The family has no income beyond food stamps for groceries and a federal housing voucher to pay their rent, something that recently allowed them to move into a new apartment after staying in a homeless shelter for 4 or 5 months, she wrote.

“I’m asking for help so my children can have a Christmas. After everything they have been through, I just want to see their smiling faces on Christmas morning.”

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 66th 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 $12,636.

DONATIONS

Whitney Drake $250

In memory of Dr. Ellsworth C. Reed $250

In memory of Rick $20

Anonymous $22

In memory of Doris Lyons-Grace + Dick $100

In memory of Nannie & Papa Flaherty and Grammie & Grandpa Smith $50

In memory of Ann Waterhouse $50

Anonymous $100

Paul Machlin and Susan Sterling $50

Elizabeth Goldsmith $30

From Pop $35

Anonymous $25

Chase Libby $50

Freeman & Associates, John Freeman $100

In honor of the Floyd grandchildren Piper, Scarlett, Dylan, Camdyn, Memphis $50

In memory of Joe Guertin, who loved toys $50

MaryAustin Dowd $200

The Putnam Family – children, grandchildren, & great grandchild $250

The Pols Family $100

In memory of Larry & Aldona Barnes,who are very missed! Leslie Lawrence $50

Irene Mulkern $100

Paul and Stephanie Castle $50

Peter Small $25

Mark Tux Turkel $50

In Memory of John Ganem $25

Patricia Buttner $35

From Brendan and Super P $30

Peter Cinelli $50

In memory of Joseph Chaisson who always gave to the fund $30

Robert Pettengill $50

Alice & Bill Amere $50

In memory of Kenneth Cleaves and Lane Fraser,who both loved Christmas $50

For the children, Arnold & Susan Harmon $100

Today: $2,477

Year to date: $12,636

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