A mother in southern Maine said she is working hard and has reason for hope that her family will someday be able to help other people in need. But getting there isn’t easy, and her only option to provide her children with holiday gifts this year was the Press Herald Toy Fund.

“I am a single mom with two kids (ages 12 and 4). I work full time and after I pay bills and do what I have to to get things fixed at the house, gas, school, sports, etc., I’m left with little to no money. I recently got a new job with better pay. But once that happened, MaineCare dropped me and I’m left paying for health insurance myself, which is almost $200 a month just for me alone. Having no medical insurance wasn’t an option, having two kids to support and raise.

“I’m working hard and hopefully one day I’ll be able to give back instead of asking for help for my kids to have a good Christmas.

“This is the only option I have to get help for my kids. I appreciate the help I get … and one day when I’m able to I plan to pay it forward and help another family in need, because I know how it feels to do the right things, work hard, but still not be able to have money to buy toys.

“I am so grateful for the help and anything that comes to us at 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

TODAY’S DONATIONS

Nana and Papa $25

Anonymous $30

God bless the children, Andrew, Jordan and Mason $50

Merry Christmas! Robert and Lynn Barden $25

On behalf of Rowan and Mira Barger, who are wishing all families a very happy holiday! The Barger Family $100

Janet P. $50

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

Anonymous $50

Jim and Meg Wilson and Family $500

Merry Christmas to all from our family to yours $100

In memory of loved ones $100

Merry Christmas! $50

Darrell and Sylvia Clarke $25

In memory of our son Jonathan Michael Sawyer $150

Merry Christmas Gary and Debbie Higgins, Love you $200

Larry and Martha Silver $500

In loving memory of James Thornton, who loved children, from Kathy $100

For a toy for a child for Christmas $25

In loving memory of Linda Jellerson Mills $50

In memory of Ray D. Gibson $20

Kermit and Suzanne McCormack $100

In loving memory of Elizabeth Sawtelle, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bellino, Rev. and Mrs. Robert Haldane Sr., and our beloved Bentley. Merry Christmas! Dave and Cathy $100

Because every child should smile at Christmas – Dave and Deborah Suhr $100

Merry Christmas – Kathleen Wilson $100

Hugh and Mary Smith $100

Greater Portland Alumnae of Alpha Omicron Pi $25

In memory of Jane M. Flanagan, from Chip Flanagan $100

For Tommy Langella, from Dad $50

John and Marie Dresser $25

Year to date:  $74,749.00