A single mother in the Portland area wrote to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund that she is doing the best she can to raise her 9-year-old daughter, but she needs help.

“As of right now, I am barely making ends meet. I know she deserves more than I can provide for her,” she wrote.

“I recently purchased a home to have some stability in her life, but it is hard to maintain all by myself. I work full time and barely have enough time to get it all done, but I do.

“I want her to know how special she is when all she cares about is everyone else. She’s a selfless child and I couldn’t be more proud.

“Thank you.”

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.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Dec. 15.

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 $52,886.

Donations

In memory of Mimi, who loved children and Christmas $100

Honoring my aunts: Shirley Brown and Dorothy Hamilton – Cindy Fallona $50

From Liam $50

In loving memory of Eleanor Goodwin $25

Happy Christmas to all children – Janet Perry $10

May this sharing bring joy $25

Merry Christmas $50

In memory of Dick, who loved Christmas – Penny Gage $25

Merry Christmas to Mary, Mom and Grandma, with love $100

In memory of Kelly Stevens $25

In honor of my parents, who showed me the magic of Christmas – Nancy Spencer $100

Linda Freedman $100

In memory of Jim Wallace – Mary and Bob Biskup $25

Gaston Lee $50

In memory of Meredith Crandlemire – Smithwick & Mariners Insurance Inc. $70

In loving memory of Anna and Domenico Floridino and Philip Peverada – Angie and Tony Peverada Jr. and family $100

Merry Christmas – Joan Nigro $100

Remembering Louis, Anna and Marie – David Doble $10

In memory of Frank and Ellen Vietze – Walter Vietze $150

To brighten Xmas for a child – Sheila Nunley $25

The wonder of Christmas – Patricia A. Clark $100

In appreciation of all we have – Deborah F. Coward $100

In memory of grandsons Benjamin Clough and Seamus Nee – Kathryn Nee $50

Florence H. White $75

In honor of Bill and Linda Thomas – Marsha Knight $25

From Evelyn and Steve $75

Merry Christmas to all and Peace on Earth $25

In memory of our mothers, Diana Candate and Beth Ames – Pamela Ames $25

In memory of Jim Wallace – Brian and Bea St. Pierre $50

‘Tis the season of giving $50

Merry Christmas! – Louis and Sharon Campbell $100

For a brighter Christmas for Lincoln County children from Jean K. Eaton $100

Merry Christmas! $50

Merry Christmas! $25

In memory of Elias Wezowicz $100

Merry Christmas and peace to all! – Rick and Charlotte Coggins $100

In lieu of local cards – David Abbiati $100

Today’s total: $2,340

Donations to date: $52,886