A single mother in central Maine is asking for help after her own mother’s illness triggered a chain of events that has left her family on the verge of homelessness.

Her three children have been through a lot in the past two months.

“I lost my job due to my mom becoming ill with lung and brain cancer and needing to take care of her. She became very sick and was in the hospital for 10 days until she passed away (in November),” she writes. “I have been working … on getting another job, but have not succeeded yet. I am very worried about Christmas this year.

“I am currently in a hotel room unable to keep up with apartment expenses without a job,” she continues. “I’m on the verge of being homeless as each week I struggle to make enough money to pay for the room by donating plasma and using the (temporary state assistance) I get monthly. It leaves no money for presents or clothes.”

The mother’s plea reached the Press Herald Toy Fund just last week, and volunteers are packing up gifts that she will be able to give her children on Christmas.

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.

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, call 791-6672 or go to: pressheraldtoyfund.org.

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


Phyllis Reames $50

In memory of our parents, Phil, Patsy, Dick and Bonnie, and brother Joel $50

From Capt. Rob Odlin of the F/V Miss Amelia and F/V Maria & Dorothy $200

In honor of my teachers Mrs. Karen Walker and Mrs. James Marshall at Wentworth School in Scarborough $50

In honor of my bus driver, Sue Murphy, bus 34, Scarborough Schools, from Amelia Odlin. Thank you for taking me to school safely! $25

In honor of our veterans, from Patrick and Nancy Bracken $50

In memory of Woody Bigelow with love from John, Conor and Deborah Casey $100

In memory of Sean M. Casey with love from John, Conor and Deborah Casey $100

Merry Christmas from Mike and Marilyn Powers $25

Anonymous $20

Thank you for helping Maine children smile on Christmas morning! Santa Dave $100

Anonymous $500

Anonymous $20

Merry Christmas from Bud, Laura, Tommy, Clara and James Ellis from Bud Ellis $25

Margie $50

For Leto and Buelo $50

In honor of Damen Chandler $30

Greg Soper Woodworking $10

In memory of Patricia C. Shea $50

In memory of Bill and Kay Parks $25

Ron Houle $50

Michael Frost DMD $100

Southern Maine Labor Council $350

Bill and Max $100

In loving memory of Babe and Podge $100

Merry Christmas! $10

Murray Family Foundation $175

In memory of John and Patricia Scanlan $100

Merry Christmas from Nancy and Tim $50

In memory of Ron, Maurice and Vera from Bo and Tina Miller $100

In memory of Maggie and Dad. I miss you. $30

Year to date:  $71,774.00

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