A single mother wrote to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund for help after her newborn needed special care and she fell behind on her bills. Now she is afraid that her other two children – an 8-year-old and 14-year-old – might not get the Christmas presents they deserve.

“I have always worked very hard for everything I have,” she wrote. “But right now I am only working 12-18 hours because I have a five-week-old baby. … He was having a hard time eating so we stayed at the hospital for almost two weeks.”

She went back to work part time just a few weeks later, she wrote. “But while I was out, everything was being shut off and now the heat is almost $400 a month. Everything has just been tough to try to put back together. Thank you all.”

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 $61,585.


In memory of Mamie $100

Big Ma, Big Ed, Alice and Billy from William Vaughn $200

Thank you to the volunteers who make this successful $50

Merry Christmas from The O’Connors $100


With hope, love and peace for the holidays – Arthur and Joanne LaRochelle $25

With hope, love and peace for the holidays – Joe and Leona Malloy $25

Anonymous $50

In the hope that all kids can enjoy the holidays – John Hunnewell $50

Merry Christmas to all – Pam Peters $100

Merry Christmas! $100


For my Mom and Dad – Jerome Gravel $100

Merry Christmas and peace to all! – Catherine Bargh $75

May joy come your way – Donna Barmore $150

Merry Christmas! – Teresa and Don Holden $100

Merry Christmas to all! The Stowell family $100

To my loving sister Lorraine, who passed Dec. 8 – Richard Long $50


Merry Christmas, kids! $50

In memory of Nancy Loeffel – Debra Maley $50

Merry Christmas, Brayden, Grace, Nana, Papa – Susan Roberts $100

From my children $25

In memory of Kirsten Angela Terhune $50

For Grace and Molly Nevins $50


In loving memory of my parents, Joe and Lois Page – Margaret Page $100

Jack and Virginia Clements $200

Beverly Baker $25

Happy memories of Christmases past. Thank you Joann and Guy Rowe $50

In memory of Bruce Roberts and Matt Barron $25

Anonymous $50


Nancy Babcock $35

In memory of Herbert R. Dix from Mildred Dix $25

In loving memory of Roman Maxsimic $50

In loving memory of Ann E Stowell, who passed away 12/3/15 – Ed & family $60

Krisitn Brigham $100

In memory of Jim Wallace from Traci Moulton $25


In memory of Jim Wallace from Steve Clark $25

In honor of Robert and Sonia McGinnis from Patrick McGinnis $50

To help bring joy to a child!  $50

Merry Christmas! Rusty and Sally Bennett $100

In memory of Kelly $100

In memory of Herbert H. Fricke $75


In memory of Annette Bryant and Andrew and Matthew Wick $50

Anonymous $50

In loving memory of Dorothy Legassie and Linda Miller – The Family $300

Gorham Memorial VFW Post #10879 $50

In memory of James D. Wallace Jr from the Ellis family $25

Merry Christmas to children of Portland – John, Hannah, Charlie, Lauren, Charlotte and Everett $50


In memory of Tim $25

Chebeague Island Grange #576 $50

James Maier M.D. $50

Michael Bowdler $100

In memory of James D. Wallace Jr. – Nancy Moran $25

Linda Michaels $100


Claire and Richard Corbin $250

Merry Christmas – Burnell’s Towing $50

In loving memory of Linda Rollins – Art, Elaine and Rob Dysinger $25

Today’s total: $4,045

Year to date: $61,585