Some of the parents who write to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund for help are homeless, or on the verge of homelessness. They write about living in emergency shelters or with family members, and about the struggle to provide a happy holiday for their children when even the most basic needs are out of reach.

For one mother in York County, the quest for a home is finally over. But it took everything she had to get a home of her own, and she needs help from the toy fund to give her 2-year-old daughter the holiday she deserves, she wrote.

“My daughter and I just moved into our first apartment and are very low on getting things for Christmas. We haven’t had much toys, mostly stuffed animals, because we were homeless,” she wrote. “I would really like to see my daughter have her first Christmas in our first apartment! Thank you.”

Thanks to the generosity of readers, their new home will be filled with joy on Christmas morning.

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 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.


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.


Grace and Mike $40

Anonymous $150

Anonymous $100

Alison and Mark Daugherty $100


Steve and Jane Martin $200

In loving memory of Roman Maxsimic – Katherine Maxsimic $50

In loving memory of Carolyn “Grace” Arsenault on her most favorite holiday $50

Pamela Cox and Richard Kessler $100

Merry Christmas! $100

Mom and Dad, missing you so much. Your memory lives on in our lives $25


In memory of Mary Geyer, from Tony and Evelyn $100

Plastic and Hand Surgical Associates $130

John Freeman $100

Merry Christmas! Mert and Prudy Lear $100

Donald E. Starr and Serena Wakelin-Star $250

In thought of Robert and Elizabeth $200


Merry Christmas from Marc and Suzanne $100

Have the merriest of holidays. Enjoy peace and goodwill. Jennifer Maybin $50

Damen C. Chandler $25

Merry Christmas! The Neff family $50

Anonymous $50

In loving memory of Grady Pierce, from the family $100


In memory of Ralph and Barbara Patterson $20

Enjoy this gift! Joyce $100

We hope to share our joy with kids who are less fortunate than us. Merry Christmas and peace on Earth! Mireia and Helio Rosenblum-Martin $50

Matthew Osman and Carin Seadler $20

In memory of Harvey Banks, from Laurie Banks $40

Linda Burns $30


In memory of Nancy Loeffel, from Debra Maley $50

Anonymous $50

Anonymous $50

Anonymous $40

Merry Christmas to all! $30

Mary Plouffe $50


Lee Humphreys $20

Merry Christmas! Toby and Brynn $100

Emmett and Orie Benezra $121

Anonymous $40

B and N $30

Lynn and Don Johnson $100


In memory of my son, Jerry Griffin. From Suzanne Porter $30

Anonymous $20

Sue and Alex Timpson $100

From Sammy and Nor $30

In honor of my parents, Bob and Nina Legg, from Melissa Legg $300

Merry Christmas! Dennis and Louise Cross $50


In memory of my mother, Maddy McGrath Jorgensen, who always donated for toys for children. $100

In memory of my sister and brother $5,000

Anonymous $50

From Russ, Elly and Andi, for kids who don’t have what we have. The Grahams $300

Merry Christmas! From the Averbach/Popkin family $200

In memory of Captain Guy W. Savage, from Breen R. Savage $50


Wishing peace and happiness this holiday season – Madison, Nicholas and Ryan Buckley. $300

Always look on the bright side of life with gratitude. Elf $50

In memory of Brendan Horton $100

Year to date: $90,905

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