A single mother from the Portland area wrote in a note to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund that she is working hard to be independent, but has no way to provide holiday gifts for her children this year.

She is taking classes toward a degree while at the same time being a full-time parent to her children, ages 11, 6 and 4. She gets no child support payments and even has court protection orders in place to protect her and her children from their father, she wrote.

“One of my children is autistic and I am homeschooling him this year. Between going to class myself and homeschooling and not being able to afford child care on my own, I am not working right now and am in need of help for Christmas,” she wrote.

“I graduate school this year and will be able to support my kids and their needs on my own. As of right now, I’m not able to provide much and cannot do Christmas, and I appreciate any and all assistance. Thank you and God Bless!”

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 $75,466.30.


For the children at Christmas $100

Thank you for all that you do $1,000

In Memory of Norman E. York $10


For children in need. They should never be without $250

Merry Christmas Leslie from Rich $100

Merry Christmas from the Tuesday Bridge Group $25

Anonymous $50

For the children in need – Steven and Linda Freedman $100

In memory of Robert J. Pyne – Lucinda Pyne $100


Blassings this holy season – Jacob Watson $50

To all the children who need toys at Christmas-Harold & Marilyn McWilliams $25

Here’s to a Christmas filled with kindness and joy – Elise Brown $100

In loving memory of Patricia Moore and Jeff Lawler – Janet Moore $25

In honor of my great friend Lisa DeSisto $250

Merry Christmas from the Sherwoods $100


Happy Holidays from the Kaplan-Johnson Family $500

For Buelo $100

In the Spirit of Bruce Roberts – Beacon Chapter#202 O.E.S $50

Patricia Kalinoski $25

OLPH Church Ladies Guild of Windham $100

Margaret Folland $100


In loving memory of Ronald S. Leeman $25

In honor of Amelia Elizabeth Mingo $100

In memory of Marie $50

In Memory of Edmund & Pearl Conley and Norman & Alda Roy Love Dave & JoAnne $25

Lowell Pease $40

In loving memory of Tommy Langella $25


In memory of all loved ones – Marion Hanscom $200

Amvet’s – Post No 25 $100

Edward Peterson $100

Pamela Ferland $100

Clarence Hartford $25

In memory of Stanley F. Sampson Jr. $50


In memory of James & Lutie Barr. $300

Diane Pike $40

William Pond Sr $150

Andrea Blake $25

In memory of our son, Joshua Reynolds Hunt $25

Anonymous $100


The Fore Street Gallery $100

In memory of Bob Patten $30

In loving memory of my father Raymond LaBerge Sr,who loved Christmas $100

In memory of Bob Davis who loved Christmas $25

From Celia, Owen and Finn $100

Thanks for all you do! Tiffany and Katherine $100


In lieu of presents for Alec Tippie’s 11th birthday $120

Anne and Bob Hall Jr $50

Polly Carmichael $50

From Santa $200

In memory of Nick Mahoney $50

In memory of Grammie Irvine and Grammie Simone $100


Josephine Durant $50

In loving memory of my husband, Ron. Mary Brown $50

In memory of Joseph L. Bernatche III (Jo-Jo) from Dad $200

In loving memory of Dean from Donna, Pete and Mark $25

For needy children of veterans from Arthur Dresser $100

For a brighter Christmas for a family $250


In memory of Kyle St.Clair from Fran Aceto $5

For my Father and my G’pa and G’Ma. May God Bless one and all. Al Martini $10

In Honor of John and Sally Quirk & Marie S. God Bless. Al Martini $10

In honor of my grandchildren: Max, Matilda, Isabel from Terri Messer $100

In memory of my cousin, James D. Wallace Jr. from Rosemary Brown $50

For the kids … Alice Kelley $100

Today’s total: $6615

Total year to date: $75,466.30

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