Two things have made the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund possible ever since it began in 1949: generous donors and hard-working volunteers. And both came through again this year, according to the grateful toy fund director.

“We had a great year with volunteers,” said Kathleen Meade.

About 100 people helped, from sorting and packing toys to helping distribute them around the state to raising funds. And, as somehow happens every year without any organized recruiting effort, new volunteers showed up to replace other longtime helpers who have moved out of state or can no longer help.

Meade said donations have been strong, too, and the total raised through this Christmas season is now well over $100,000 and expected to exceed last year’s total, even if it doesn’t return all the way to pre-recession highs.

Holiday donations are still flowing in and will be updated periodically in the coming days and weeks. The fund actually accepts donations year-round and will before long be getting ready to help families again next year.

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund uses donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents. The fund – now in its 66th year – helps needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties.

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 $116,529.37.


In St. Nicholas’ name, from Janet Leaver $50

Longfellow Books counter collection $32.08

Love from Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery $25

Today’s total: $107.07

Total year to date: $116,529.37