The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund has been bringing joy to children in the Portland area for 68 years, but it’s brand new to the Lewiston/Auburn area.

The toy fund this year began accepting applications from Androscoggin County, expanding its reach to families that, in the past, did not qualify and were turned away.

And, as expected, the applications have been flowing in from parents who are grateful and relieved to be included.

“I am the single mother of four beautiful children,” a woman from Androscoggin County wrote to the fund. Her youngest, a boy, was born last year with numerous medical challenges, including a heart defect that required open heart surgery to repair.

“He is the apple of our eyes and has lit up our lives since his birth,” the mother wrote. “I was meant to be my children’s mother and I love them to the moon and back. The four of them are my everything.”

But although the woman works 40 hours a week, she is struggling financially, she wrote.

“I struggle with affording basic necessities, but somehow I make it work. Due to poverty guidelines and income limits, my family is not eligible for any government/public assistance programs. My family and I are more than grateful for any assistance the toy fund can offer. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.”

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. Bruce Roberts was the original pen name of the newspaper columnist who co-founded the fund in 1949.

The fund – now in its 68th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties.

Applications can be downloaded at or picked up at the Press Herald’s Welcome Center at 295 Gannett Drive in South Portland. Call 791-6672 to have one mailed to you.

Donations to help buy the toys can be made at 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.



Thank you for your work with the Toy Fund. CF Santa $200

Merry Christmas! $100

In memory of my mother Madeleine Broadhurst- she always made Christmas time special for her children and made it special for all children. Lori and David $100

Merry Christmas from Pam and John Fridlington $250

In memory of Bob & Irene and Leo & Barb $50

Anonymous $50

Merry Christmas! Rick & Janet $50

In loving memory of Gigi with love from Alex, Brendan and Abbi $200

Have a wonderful holiday! $100

Merry Christmas from Edie and Jack Cornell $50

Anonymous $100

Anonymous $20

Sam and Marge DiBiase $50

In honor of my wonderful bus driver, Mr. Mike Lavallee, Bus 31, Scarborough from Amelia Odlin $25

In memory of Joe Guertin, who loved toys. $50

In memory of Joe Bromley – Carl & Rachel Akin $30

In lieu of local Christmas cards – Carl & Rachel Akin $30

Merry Christmas! The Hughes family $50

LT’s – Merry Christmas! $50

To honor Earl G $25

Merry Christmas to the children $25

In memory of Mom and Dad Foss $150

Edwin Heisler $100

Constance and Robert Fallon $20

Janine Myers $100

Year to date: $57,554

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