A 12-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister in Portland. A precocious 5-year-old girl in Gorham. A teenage brother and sister in Lisbon.

And more than 3,000 other children from Kittery north to Livermore Falls and Parsonsfield east to Rockport.

All are waking up this Christmas morning with gifts to unwrap, thanks to the readers and businesses who donated to the Press Herald Toy Fund. It’s a triumph of good will that has brightened the holidays for struggling families for 69 years and allowed children to stay children a while longer, in spite of all manner of hardships faced by the grownups who care for them.

Some of the children have lost parents to drug addiction and live with grandparents trying to raise them on Social Security. Others have parents who have fallen ill or been injured, who have lost jobs or simply been unable to keep up with bills for heat or car repairs. Some have parents who are going through divorce or escaping abusive relationships. Some have lost their homes to fires or rent increases. Some are living in hotel rooms or sleeping on couches.

But this Christmas, all of them had reason to smile.

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. Founded in 1949, 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

Merry Christmas to all! $100

Anonymous $25

Erica L. Bartlett $50

Anonymous $100

In loving memory of Laurie Reiche, Howard C. Reiche, Kirsten Terhune, and Yamadoodledingdong. From Los Terhunes $50

Merry Christmas to all! Karen, Gerry, Booker & Marble $100

Happy Holidays! Staff of Insurance Trust $50

In memory of my sister & brother-in-law, from Peggy & Bob Jewett $200

Annual donation from the Women of the Moose, Portland Chapter 1971 $100

Employees at Sevee & Maher Engineers Inc. $555

Cindy Foster $200

Eddie’s $373

Merry Christmas from D&G Machine Products Inc. $1,000

Best wishes from Drumlin Environmental LLC $100

Merry Christmas! Skillin School Student Council $200

Anonymous $150

JOCIJIANNA for the 69th year! $500

On behalf of Haley & Aldrich $89.40

In loving memory of my Aunt Frances T. Dooley, who was always kind to her nephews. Much missed. John E. Dooley $250

Toy Fund Volunteer Fundraiser $200

Facebook Giving Tuesday: Jill Shuffleton Hansen, Sam Hunneman, Joyce Clarkson-Veilleux, Margie Emmons, Deb Driver, Janet Leaver and Joy Aiello $520

Lucy Green $50

In memory of Mickey and Mary Maguire $100

In loving memory of Thomas Cook from his family $25

Benjamin A. Soule $50

In memory of dear Aunty BA – Merry Christmas! $50

Anonymous $100

Rusty & Mittens $25

In loving memory of Carol Ann Oleshevick. Merry Christmas! Maggie & Nick $25

From KYRA $50

In loving memory of my Mom & Dad & Kathy L., from Mike Nelson $50

John & Jean Northrup $100

Linda & Philip Coupe $100

Burnell’s Towing $50

In memory of Paul J. White, from Katherine White $100

Ann Harmon $100

Anonymous $30

David Dyer $100

Anonymous $5

Pamela Ferland $100

Edward & Catherine Peterson $100

In memory of Nana Jane, Papa Don and Grampa Harry $100

Lawrence & Karan Miller $100

Year to date: $100,069.40


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