That’s a lot of pennies.

The students at Brown School in South Portland have completed their annual penny drive for the Press Herald Toy Fund and once again made sure some less fortunate children got to enjoy a holiday season with gifts.

This year’s total was $281.71. And while that sum is impressive on its own, the Brown School community has been doing this so long that their combined donations have got to be approaching 1 million pennies, or $10,000, if they haven’t exceeded it already.

The penny drive began well over a decade ago and some of the annual donations have exceeded $1,000.

The annual effort is led by the fifth-grade class and provides the whole community with some valuable lessons, not only about the joy of giving and helping other children, but also about the mathematical truth that working together can turn small individual efforts into big accomplishments.

The toy fund is still in need of cash donations from readers to cover its costs and to sustain the charity as it moves into another decade helping Maine families.

Donations received during the holiday season are published in the newspaper, and those that have not yet been published will be listed in a future edition of the newspaper and online. Financial support also is accepted year-round and ensures that the fund will have the resources to buy gifts the next year.

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 70th year, the fund provides toys to needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

• DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made year round at 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:


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