The Press Herald Toy Fund is used to getting thank you notes from parents who, with a little help, were able to bring joy to their children at the holidays.

But this year there have also been many notes of thanks from donors.

It seems people were craving the chance to help struggling neighbors this year, and grateful that this particular holiday tradition survived the pandemic.

“There have been such sentiments each day,” said Kathleen Meade, the toy fund’s director. The notes say how glad the donors are that the fund happened despite all the challenges and once again offered them a way to “share the good feeling of helping others and … see the effort come together and build.”

One such note arrived this week with a donation from the Banister/Churchill family. It’s really a message to be shared with the whole community that makes it happen – donors included.

“Thank you for all that you’ve done to see that thousands of Maine children will get a visit from Santa once again this year. Seventy-one years of bringing the spirit of both Santa and Bruce Roberts to the homes and families is remarkable and amazing and awesome.

“We’ve enclosed a contribution and send along with it a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all you have done to make our world a better place … and smiles on the faces of so many 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 71st year, the fund serves 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:


In honor of my grandson, Tommy! Peggy Waterman $100
Kenneth Spirer & Joan Leitzer $150
The staff at Sevee & Maher Engineers, Inc. $1,755
In memory of Nana and Papa and Grampa Harry $100
Anonymous $1,000
In memory of Paul J. White $100
Eddie’s Variety $642
Best Wishes from Drumlin Environmental, LLC $250
In loving memory of Jean L. Deshaies, from Charline and children $50
Reid Callanan $50
Knights of Columbus, Council 2219 Westbrook $400
In memory of my brother, Robert Danis Jr., who loved Christmas. From Rachel Danis $20
Kristen Damuth $50
William Poole $100
In memory of my parents, Clarence & Reta. Hope it spreads joy. The Winships $200
Line Pelletier $50
In memory of John Houghton, from Audrey & Joe $50
In honor of our kind friends, Mary & Zach from NC $35
In memory of Vera Tukey $50
Kathleen Carr $100
Happy Christmas from Great-Grampy Toby’s Red, Eyes & Jake’s Little Girl! $100
Happy Holidays and New Year, from the Banister/Churchill family $200
In memory of Grampa Hawkes, from the Theriaults $50
In loving memory of Garrett Brackett. Love always, Mom, Dad, Alyssa, Libby and Reegan.$100
From Ellen & Mark $100
Griese family, Alex’s choice $500
Anonymous $250
Phillip & Leigh Kirchner $100
In honor of Sam Maier $100
In honor of the Soley family $275
In loving memory of my parents, Raymond and Florence LaBerge $200
In memory of Bob, Peggy and Bud $200
In memory of Barry M. Campbell 1947-1995 and Dr. Marshall Goodwin $200
Rene & Mary Helen Quiron $25
Mary Mendler $100
Peter $40
Stephen & Valerie Loring $100
In memory of Ernie Todd $50
In honor of my Little League Coach, Dave Halligan Sr. $50
Anonymous $25

Year-to-date total: 256,300.90

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