The Press Herald Toy Fund workshop is buzzing with activity and excitement these days.

After working for weeks to unpack and sort thousands of toys and other gifts by gender and age, volunteers are now in full distribution mode.

Last week, the volunteers packaged gifts for some of the families who sought help this year and handed the bundles off to nonprofit partners of the toy fund. The social service agencies make sure the gifts get to families who live far from the workshop or don’t have the transportation to make the pickup on their own.

Also last week, an empty 18-wheeler arrived at the workshop and volunteers quickly filled it with gifts for more than 100 families in Knox and Lincoln counties.

Northeast Transport, a Waldoboro-based company with a national fleet of carriers for hire, has been making the toy run each year for more than 25 years – at no cost to the toy fund – to make sure children in that part of the state don’t miss out on a simple joy of the holiday season.

On Monday, the first rounds of parents and grandparents arrived at the workshop to pick up gifts they will give to their children and grandchildren in the coming days. Volunteers hustled customized bundles of gifts out of the warehouse and into the trunks of their cars.


“This is a wonderful thing you do,” one grateful grandmother said as she waited for gifts for her granddaughter.

For volunteers, the handoffs are a favorite part of the work because the parents and grandparents are so thankful and relieved.

Gail Kinney of Yarmouth is a regular volunteer who spends three days a week in the workshop. And she was glad to be in the center of the activity Monday, especially after having to sit out last year.

“It’s nice to be back,” she said.

Donations from readers of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Sun Journal in Lewiston and The Times Record in Brunswick allow the toy fund to provide gifts to thousands of children in need in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties. To help, go to


Merry Christmas! <3 Molly Molly $100
David & Trisha $125
John & Maryann $100
In appreciation of J&J Lavin $50
Lesley Ewald $75
In memory of our parents, Keith & Del Libby, and Paul & Peg Garvin. Love Jack & Pat $150
Rick D’Auteuil Jr $100
Herb Taylor $25
Tully & Alby $300
Carol Juliano $100
Scooter Dusini $300
Clara & Greta $100
In memory of Mina & Joe $25
In loving memory of my wonderful mother Della Fogg, and sweet son, Mitchell Kessler $100
Grandkids of Bob’s Welding Service, Abby, Sammy, Carly, Molly, Xavier, and Maddox $100
Bob & Sue Turkington $75
Anonymous $500
In memory of Kay $100
In honor of my parents, Harry & Lois Carlin, from the 4th C $120
Happy Holidays! Elizabeth Hunt $25
From CHUD, who loved children $100
Jane Danielson $100
Anthony Debruyn $250
Merry Christmas! Jenny & Ben $30
May you experience the spirit of Christmas through the joy of your children. From David & Debbie Hilleary $100
Ally & Dave Howe $200
In memory of Gram & Grandpa M $100
Happy Holidays! Sage Family $50
In memory of Priscilla Montgomery $100
Doug & Debbie Zlatin $100
Wishing all a happy & peaceful Christmas! From Denise K $100
Merry Christmas to all! Bud & Laura Ellis $50
In memory of Dick and Dorrice Fuller $50
In memory of Phil, Henty, and Laurie LaRou $250
In memory of my father Donn Storey $100
In loving memory of our parents, we miss you, especially at Christmas time. Charlene & Ned $100
David Braley and LeeAnne McPherson $100
Anonymous $20
Anonymous $100
In memory of Austin McIntyre and Anna Pelosi $100
Christmas is for kids! $50
In memory of Dad & Mom, Phil & Henty LaRou, who loved the Christmas season, Laurie, Cindy, Dick, Dan, & George LaRou $500
In memory of my dad, Ray Laverriere. Love, Paula $30
In loving memory of Charlotte Lacrosse $50
In honor of The Hundred Dollar Christmases $50
For Rodrigo & Juju $50
In honor of our grandchildren, Tyler, Andrew, Elijah, & Josephine. We believe all children should have a Merry Christmas! Terri M Grover $50
May the season be filled with peace and love. $100
Merry Christmas; the McDowell family, from Scott & Cathy MacDowell $100
Anonymous $100
Happy & Healthy Holidays, kids! Zaitlin Enterprises $250
To my two ‘kids’ who never knew the joy of being raised in Maine. Jack of Rosemont $100
Anonymous $250
Kris Kringle $50
Best wishes for the holidays and for the year to come! $100
In loving memory of our parents, Ed & Ruby Lothrop, and Joe & Gladys Labbe. Richard & Barbara Labbe $30
Anonymous $20
Connie Clifford $30
Anonymous $250
Steven Knowles $50
Anonymous $100
Anonymous $100
In memory of our Mom & Dad, Trudy & Phil Lowell, and our sister Kathy. Love & miss you all. Debbie, Phillip, Bob, & Dianne. $150
Richelle $100
In memory of Martha and Sandra. From Bill & Mary Plouffe $100
Anonymous $50
Merry Christmas to family & friends! Dick & Evie Tonneson $500
Merry Christmas! $100
Anonymous $100
In honor of Eric Anderson, from a fellow band member. $50
Anonymous $50
Anonymous $100
Anonymous $300
Anonymous $100
Tim, Tori, and Ollie Howe $50
Susan Ross $50
In honor of Sue Penna Bernier, and in memory of L Phillip Bernier $100
Karen Edgecomb $50
Bill & Valerie Sowles $250
Doris & Ted Cook $100
May everyone find something to celebrate, big or small, wherever you are … the dooloop $300
Anonymous $200
Anonymous $30
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! $50

TOTAL TO DATE: $125,895

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