A mother from southern Maine has big worries heading into the holiday season, but says she doesn’t want that to mean her children won’t have reasons to smile on Christmas morning.

“My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer,” she wrote in a note to the Press Herald Toy Fund. “Right now all five of us are living off (his) disability because of his chemo and radiation appointments. I can’t be reliable for a job – taking care of (my husband) and my kids is my job right now.”

And part of that job is keeping everyone positive, she wrote.

“We all love playing board games and card games. We all love to sing and listen to music. We are a positive family who will not let cancer bring us down.”

Because of readers who donate to the fund, the toy fund will help this family keep their spirits bright during a difficult time.

THE PRESS HERALD TOY FUND in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts 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. Now in its 69th year, the fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

APPLICATIONS can be downloaded at pressheraldtoyfund.org or picked up at the Press Herald’s Welcome Center at 295 Gannett Drive in South Portland. Call 791-6672 or 791-6600 to have one mailed to you.

DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made at pressheraldtoyfund.org 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, go to: pressheraldtoyfund.org.

SEE MORE STORIES about the fund at pressherald.com/press-herald-toy-fund/.

TODAY’S DONATIONS

In memory of Nancy $100

The Brooks family $600

Merry Christmas! J. David & Susan Haynes $50

From Cal-Anne in memory of our families $50

In loving memory of my husband, Ronnie – Joanne Strout $75

Merry Christmas! Hunter, Helena and Joey Griffin $50

In memory of Marie $50

In memory of Rosie & Ollie $50

In memory of Captain Joe Robinson, F/V Hilary & Kate $50

Tina & Les $50

Kenneth & Kathlyn Moran $100

In loving memory of my husband and son “Wayne & William” – Dorothy York $50

In loving memory of Jean L. Deshaies and Peggy Guillemette. Love, Charline & Denise $50

Herb & Donna Emery $20

This gift is given in memory of Marthann Hartford by Buzz & Sandra Hartford, Merry Christmas! $50

In loving memory of my mother, Della Fogg, and our beloved son Mitchell Kessler $100

In memory of CHUD, who loved children $50

In memory of Gigi & Grandmom $100

In memory of Shawn & Mike McIntyre $25

Rick Kessler and Pam Cox $100

In honor of our grandchildren Emme and Elijah. Merry Christmas! $50

In memory of Ken Cleaves and Lane Fraser, both of whom loved Christmas, from Ethel & Ernie Carmolli $50

Merry Christmas to all in memory of John Wall. From Mary Wall and John Wall Jr. $50

Every child deserves a happy Christmas! Denise K. $50

Allan & Brenda Leo $50

Lynn & Don Johnson $100

John S. Beliveau $100

Continuing the tradition of our retiree Sharon Breton, who worked for Hannaford Brothers for 50+ years. Merry Christmas! Benefits/LOA Admin Team $100

I want the smiles of children for Christmas! $100

Don & Miki Murray $100

In memory of MK and STB $50

Total for year: $60,229