A woman wrote to the Press Herald Toy Fund that her family of five was just beginning a new life in South Portland when she was diagnosed with cancer. And now they need a little help, she wrote on her application.

“We moved here last year and lived in hotels/motels because we had no permanent housing. Living in a motel with three young boys (all between the ages of 6 and 10) was very challenging.”

Her husband works and supports the family, while she is no longer working because of her illness.

“I am a former nurse and trying to get my feet back on the ground,” she wrote. “We finally secured housing over the summer so my boys and I have a roof over our heads, but it is a struggle with medical expenses and other bills. We would love to give the boys a nice Christmas, so any help is greatly appreciated.”

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 $23,326.


In honor of Robert Szymanski $25

Hoping Christmas is happier for some little ones $100

Christmas wishes from Implemented Solutions LLC, from Steven Le. $100


Happy wishes to all from Ron Brown and Jill Welch $50

Merry Christmas to all from Eric Pflugradt $100

Merry Christmas from Dave and Elaine $100

To all who help out, from Robert Wagner $100

Christmas cheer $50

In loving memory of James D. Wallace Jr. from Maureen Flaherty $25


In memory of Jim Wallace from his Dflight friends $170

Merry Christmas $100

Hoping to brighten some child’s Christmas, from Patricia Rice $50

Merry Christmas from Steve and Jane Martin $400

For children of Maine $100

Tidings of great joy for Maine’s children $50


Tradition $100

Merry Christmas, Ma! We love you. Sean and Peg $100

Cheers! $25

Happy holidays from Lauren and Caroline Hester $50

Anonymous $1,000

In memory of James Wallace, Nichols & Webb PA $250


In memory of James D. Wallace, IBEW Telephone Local 2327 $75

In honor of James D Wallace Jr., Patricia M Flaherty $50

In memory of James Wallace of Standish, Maine, from Jim and Marcia $25

God bless you, Karen Poulin, Love, Cheryl $250

Enjoy! $150

In memory of Drew $100


Portland Longshoremen’s Benevolent Society – ILA Local 861 $250

Happy holidays! $25

Merry Christmas! Rick and Cindy Slaney $25

Christmas blessings! Betty Bailey $25

Peace on earth! $100

Merry Christmas, “Yum” – Meg and John Kennedy $50


Merry Christmas from Speedy Stop $500

Merry Christmas! $50

Merry Christmas! Matt, Mary and Madeline Thompson $100

Happy holidays to all! $25

Chris and Eigan $250

From Patrick Thomas $100

Merry Christmas from Stella and the Supergirls! $200

Today’s total: $5,395

Total year to date: $23,326