Few things can force parents to swallow their pride more than an illness or injury.

Year after year, in good economic times or bad, health problems bring parents to the Press Herald Toy Fund for help to brighten the holidays for their children.

“I have two children, ages 16 and 13,” one southern Maine mother wrote to the fund. “I work full time (and) I make $10 an hour. My fiancé was put out of work in September due to health reasons. He had spine surgery for the fourth time. … He’s been trying to recover from that surgery when he was told he needed another one.

“I have done my best to maintain our financial status. I myself am undergoing treatment for medical problems. I have tried to get a second job to compensate but have been unable to until I get my health in order,” she wrote. “I am very prideful and hate to ask for help but it is very much needed. Any help would be very much appreciated. Desperate times have plagued us for a while now.”

Another mother wrote that she doesn’t want her four children to go without gifts because their father is sick.

“I have four young children and I am unable to work due to the cost of child care,” she wrote. “My kids’ dad has a rare muscle condition which affects his ability to work.”

He cannot stand except for short periods of time and hasn’t been able to keep up his work hours. Money has gotten tighter and tighter, she wrote.

“The challenges we face generating extra income for the holidays would make this resource very helpful to provide gifts for our children.”

 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

Beacon Chapter #202 OES $50

Darryl Arsenault $20

Virginia Borgatti $25

For the children $100

Jeanne & Daniel Sullivan $50

In memory of Beverly and Virgil Plaisted, Blanche Huntley and Louis Peters $75

Marie & Victor Woodbrey $50

Merry Christmas – Dianne & Gregg Goodrich $100

For the children Xmas $25

Keeping Christmas alive! Steve and Jane Martin $200

George & Deanna Hunter $100

Anonymous $50

Anonymous $30

Year to date: $66,559


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