The children of frontline health care workers are among those struggling as the holidays approach, and many of their parents are turning to the Press Herald Toy Fund for help.

A mother from southern Maine who cares for residents in a local nursing home is one example. Her letter to the toy fund sticks close to the facts about her family’s difficult year, but it’s not hard to read between the lines and imagine the stress that the parents and their children are going though as she tries to protect people during the pandemic.

“We are a family of five. Two boys (ages 6 and 7) and a little girl, who is 2,” she wrote.

“(Their dad) had to stop working due to no school or childcare (during the pandemic).

“I am a CNA (certified nursing assistant) at a local nursing home and tested positive, missing three-plus weeks of work due to quarantine for our entire family.”

“Thank you so much in advance.”

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 71st 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 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:


Peace & Joy to all!  Ross, Kay, Jonny and William Wadland  $100
In memory of our dear Dad and Papa, Robert Palombo. The Clement Family  $100
J&J Hackett  $50
Merry Christmas! Love from a friend!  $20
Wishing the children a Merry Christmas! Nancy and Tim  $50
In memory of Aldo and Joan Llorente  $25
Peace & Love! Caristinos/Reuscher  $50
In loving memory of my grandparents George & Tosca Panattoni, who brought so much joy! Christa Henry  $100
Merry Christmas! Anne & Mark Boger  $100
Carol and Jack Flynn  $100
In memory of Harold & Jo Richardson  $50
Meghan & Erin O’Donovan  $100
With gratitude for our grandchildren, from Anne & Gunnar Hagstrom  $100
Anonymous  $50
Anonymous  $50
Bill & Marilyn  $50
In memory of my parents Claire and Anthony, from David Terricciano  $250
Ripley Castle  $100
The Redzinak/Ceccarini Family  $50
Please stay safe  $50
Merry Christmas, in memory of Rosemary & Abbie Willis  $250
In memory of Lois, Joe, Ella, & Walt, and in honor of Aidan, Collin, Duke, Ella, Miles & baby Joyce in transit. The Yarmouth Joyces  $200
M & J Royall  $150
Anonymous  $200
Anonymous  $100
In memory of Robert T. Trask  $300
The Farklers  $25
Meredith & David Jackson  $100
Hoping that you enjoy some Peace and Joy despite the many challenges facing us this year  $50
Everyone deserves a Merry Christmas!  Rusty & Bonnie Clukey  $50
In memory of Nancy Kennedy and Elaine Jelescheff, who loved to give fun gifts, from Becca, Scott & Alex  $50
In memory of our parents, Sheila & Don Esty, from your family  $100
In memory of Guy at Christmas, from the Gautier/Johnson family  $300
Sarah Felmly  $150
In memory of Gramma D, from the Leepers  $100
Max and Cedric Bailey in lieu of a gift. $100
Ruth Yates  $100
Merry Christmas from Elizabeth Matheson and Livvie  $40
Anonymous  $50
In memory of Uncle Dan. With love, Tyler, Rachael, Emilie and Abbie  $30
Anonymous  $100
Anonymous  $50
In memory of John and June Bowman  $100
Anonymous  $50
In memory of Helen Getchell  $100
In memory of Gram C, Grammy & Gramps I, and Aunt Louisa. From Amanda Langley  $30
Thom and Judy Meschinelli  $20
Anonymous  $50
Anonymous  $100
Anonymous  $100
Anonymous  $50
In memory of John & Germaine Dorazio  $150
Peace, Love and Blessings  $50
Zachary Andreoni  $30
Anonymous  $50
Anonymous  $100
We will all lift each other up. Barbara Rachel  $50
Tim & Susan benoit  $100
George and Joanna Schaab  $100
No child should be without a toy for Christmas. With our love to your family $50
The Hazard Family  $100
Blessings and all good to come  $100
Susan Robinson  $50
In memory of John and Liz  $100
Anonymous  $50
Year-to-date total: $107,686.25

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