A family from the midcoast is getting a new start after moving into its own apartment a couple of months ago. But Christmas is coming and, with 8-year-old and 5-year-old daughters at home, the father sent a letter asking for a little help from the Press Herald Toy Fund.

“We just moved (to a new apartment) a couple of months ago, and before that lived at my wife’s mom’s house, where we didn’t pay rent, just helped with utilities,” he wrote. “We are now paying rent and my wife is the only one working right now. I have been looking for work with no luck as of right now. We only have one car right now so I need to find work that I can walk to. My wife works a lot of hours and needs the car.”

While the couple appreciates the help to make sure the two young girls have gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning, he wrote, he also is hopeful about the future.

“My girls are adjusting really well living in (their new home) and they love their schools, which is awesome.”

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 $57,540.

Donations

Anonymous $25

In memory of Granzo, Grandpa and Ned $500

From Jim and Margo, in lieu of Christmas cards $50

Merry Christmas $250

From the Briggs Family $250

Peace and Love – Liz and Alice Winfeld-Adams $25

For Julia, Mary, Trudy, Wally and Bill – Mary Gelfand and Mark Gallup $50

In memory of Pat and John Scanlan – Jean Scanlan $100

Happy Holidays to all $50

For those in need $50

Buster and Lola – William Lairsey $50

In memory of Ralph and Barbara Patterson $25

In memory of the Eichhorn, O’Connor and Johnson families $50

In the Spirit of World Peace $25

Merry Christmas! Pinette family $100

Merry Christmas! $100

In memory of Whit Steele $50

In the holiday spirit $150

Merry Christmas to all! $50

With love XXX $25

Edwin A. Heisler $150

Nancy H. Peck $35

Richard G. McIntosh $20

Marjorie Estabrook $100

In memory of my wonderful parents and husband, who loved Christmas – BSD $100

From the employees of Neer-Wyman Station $400

Sons of Amvets, Post 2 $100

In memory of Bill and Barbara Caswell and Steve Griffin – Susan J. Foss $25

In memory of Mimi – Susan Chandler $50

In memory of Arch and Eleanor, and Ralph and Esther – Virginia Deangelis $100

Dental Office $350

In memory of Geraldine and Warren – Sarah L. Downs $100

In memory of Erika E. Stover – Anonymous $25

Ronald L. Peaker $100

For the children – Sandra Greenleaf $40

Merry Christmas! – Denise Morrill $50

In loving memory of my parents, Francis and Dorothy Donahue – Ellie $50

For Ed and Dorothy Miniutti – Robert Miniutti $100

From the employees of Cumberland County $429

Grampy Hodgman’s girls – Is, Ab, Anna, Emma and Lucy $25

Merry Christmas! – Orysia Pylyshenko $50

For our dog, Rosie – Robert Curry $50

In memory of Bill Kramer – Cheryl Perdue $20

For Christmas! – VFW Deering Mem. Auxillary 6859 $50

Susan Kowal $10

Elaine Walsh $100

In loving memory of Dot and Les Emerson, much love, Diane, Steve and Alan O’Brien $25

Sylvia Clark $25

Today’s total: $4,654

Year to date: $57,540

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