A family in the midcoast wrote to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund for help after not one just one parent, but both of them, became disabled by medical problems.

Neither wanted their two children – ages 7 and 1 – to miss out on the joy of opening gifts Christmas morning. The toy fund will make sure they don’t.

“I recently was diagnosed with fibrous dysplasia and am unable to work. It is a rare bone-eating disease. I have it throughout my whole body and am currently applying for disability,” the children’s mother wrote.

Her husband, meanwhile, is about to have spinal fusion surgery. “That will be in a couple of weeks and then he is unable to work a minimum of six weeks afterward, depending on recovery time. Finances are very tough – just babysitting and cleaning a house here and there.”

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 $92,295.30.


For a happier holiday – Margaret Groban $100

Peace and good will to all from the Morris family $100

Merry Christmas from Dr. Steinmetz and staff $100


Love to my granddaughter, Jordan Martindale $50

Merry Christmas from Alliance Case Management $100

Merry Christmas from Kenny, Michele and Summer $25

In memory of parents – William & Barbara Merten $100

Helping in our own small way – Ann Tracy and John Kreutzberger $50

In memory of James D. Wallace $25


For children in need $25

In memory of Sean Casey from Mom, Dad and Cono $100

In memory of Woody Bigelow from his family $100

For Meme, Nonna and all grandmothers – Pamela Day and Michael Petit $100

In memory of Helen and Gertie – Susan Graham $100

Merry Christmas for Maine children – Donald Murray $100


The Meader family $50

To honor Bruce Marstaller – Love, Your Family $25

In memory of Dorrance Marstaller – Bruce, Wendy and family $25

Happy, happy Christmas – Gary Dunn $25

In memory of Libby Hollidge $50

HoHoHo! $25


In loving memory of my mother, Linda Miller $50

Mila Butler $50

In memory of my parents, Blanche and Fernald Goulette $50

In memory of Ella and Bick $25

In loving memory of the Rev. and Mrs. Robert Haldane Sr., Dan Bellino and our beloved Bentley. Dave & Cathy $50

In memory of Barbara Bolster, who loved Christmas $50


In memory of Johnny and his dad $20

Anonymous $50

Merry Christmas – Janet Silvers $25

In honor of our dear friend, Jim Wallace – Barb, Butch and Greg Guimond $50

Hester Stuhlman $20

Merry Xmas from Dennis Cross and family $50


In celebration of Spence, Oliver and Mia $100

With love from the Patashniks $100

Merry Christmas to one and all! $500

With peace on earth, good will to men $100

From folks on Pine Point $100

For the children $25


Peace $50

Hugh Riddleberger and Louis McIlhenny $50

In memory of Joe and Nora Nappi $100

Gift to Frances Atripaldi from Sue and Skip in loving memory of Louis Atripaldi $50

In loving memory – Paula Ross, Stan Fernald, Hildur McDougall, Edwin Cleaves, Shirley Grant and Ed Enman $50

Jonathan Hatch $250


With love from Santa to bring a smile to a little one’s face! Bonnie Clukey $25

In memory of Win and Pearl Rosendahl $50

Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Oliver $25

In memory of Sheila Ridge and Bevo Haley from Don $25

Merry Christmas from the Richardson family $100

In memory of David Farnham $50

Anonymous $30

Today’s total: $3,645

Total year to date: $92,295.30

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