The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund had a boost of holiday spirit this month thanks to a handful of volunteers from Community Partners Inc., an organization that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For Serena James, a direct support provider, the decision to volunteer for the Toy Fund was a personal one. Years ago, she applied to the fund for help in providing gifts to her kids.

“It felt really good to give back to an organization that helped me and my kids when they were younger,” she said.

James helped the men in her group with their volunteer duties. They gave two hours of their time. One fellow sat at the door and greeted families as they came to pick up gifts. Two others were in charge of collecting the bags of gifts for families. They all wore hats to get in the holiday spirit.

“We had fun,” James said on Saturday. “They enjoyed it. They gave us lunch. The guys were really tickled by that.”

The experience inspired others from Community Partners to volunteer their time and efforts.

“I would have them here every day if I could,” said Kathleen Meade, executive director of the Toy Fund. “They were wonderful. Their enthusiasm was totally sweet.”

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts is using 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 67th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties.

Applications can be downloaded at pressheraldtoyfund .org.

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.


Anonymous $50

Anonymous $30

Anonymous $50

Merry Christmas! The Zaccaria family $100

Jacob, Kristine & Alexis $20

Happy holidays! Lynn, Steph, Ethan and Noah Eckersly-Ray $200

Anonymous $100

Bill & Marilyn Lairsey $50

The Ertman family $100

Merry Christmas to all! $100

Christmas love to all children and their families, from Melodie Cook $100

Merry Christmas from Hannah and Sadie! $50

In memory of our parents, Ed & Ruby Lothrop and Joseph & Gladys Labbe – Richard & Barbara Labbe $20

For the children, Merry Christmas! The Hamblens $50

David & Kelly Smith $100

Alan & Genny $100

Merry Christmas! Dennis & Louise Cross $50

Suzanne Fox $100

Anonymous $100

Anonymous $100

Anonymous $100

In memory of David Farnham & Brett Cooper $50

In loving memory of Ben Clough and Seamus Nee $200

David Maloon $200

Everlasting love to the memory of Debra O’Brion from the O’Brions, Petersons, Foggs and Chases $300

In memory of Eileen Minte from Higgins Beach Book Club $100

In memory of Phil & Henty LaRou, who loved gathering family & friends during the Christmas season! Dick & Cheryl LaRou $500

Merry Christmas & may there be Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all! $40

For the children, from Barbara & Jayson Bock

Total to date: $95,432.60

For more information and to donate online, go to:

See more stories about the fund at:

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