Parents who write to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund for help often express the fear that a holiday without toys will cause the children they love to feel like they did something wrong.

That was a big motivator for the proud mother of a 10-year-old from the Portland area.

“My little girl still believes in Santa Claus, and she’s almost 11!” the mother wrote on her application. “She’s extremely kind, polite, giving. … She doesn’t judge others, unless they’re mean, and even then she will try to make them feel better.”

The little girl also excels at school, works with kindergartners a couple times a month, and thinks the greatest gift is a hug, her mother wrote.

“I’m very fortunate,” she wrote. “I would be especially grateful for your help.”

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 $30,971.

DONATIONS

In Memory of James Wallace – Hillside Lumber $100

Merry Christmas! – Claire Brooks $20

In memory of Susan Donnell Konkel – Harry Konkel $500

Dianna Oliver $50

Eva Giro $50

Arnold Howe Sr. $50

In loving memory of: Ralph Moore, Hazel Moore, Elizabeth McKague, Roland Hughes $20

Alan Sockloff $100

Jim and Maureen Gorman $2,000

Diane Ford $25

Marie Aceto $10

In loving memory of Darlene and Larry Holston $50

In Memory of Dot Inard $30

In Memory of James & Eleanor Kehoe and Raymond Davignon $100

In loving memory of Steven, Donald and Brendan Keating $100

Beverly Esson $100

In memory of Phil Albert $25

Anonymous $50

From Judy and Joe $50

Merry Christmas – Marilyn Hodgdon $25

In memory of my father James H. Wallace $150

Thomas Masterton $100

In memory of James D. Wallace Jr. – Margaret Cousins & Family $25

Carol Carey $25

Olive Hart $100

Paul Collins $100

In Memory of Bob Nigro $600

In memory of Donald Johnson $100

Tom and Connie Smith $35

Georgina Irving $100

Carlton Leach $100

In memory of John Porter Sr. from Grampaw’s Boys & Papa’s 4 Girls $25

Michael Curci $50

In memory of John Connolly $50

In memory of Claire Brosnan and Peg MacDonald $50

Thankful for our two beautiful grandchildren, Emmerson & Elijah! $50

In memory of my wife Maxine – John S. Dow $100

In memory of Susan J. Stevens. We miss you and love you. Richard, Jean, Rick, Eric, Tim $100

In memory of our son and brother, Peter Luce $50

Merry Christmas! Tom and Judy $100

In memory of Rose and Ralph Elgee $50

Happy Holidays! Steve and Dayle Moreau $50

Judith Deskus $100

The Jamieson family thanks you for bringing Christmas to many needy families! $200

Today’s total: $5,865

Year to date: $30,971