Just as they said they would, the 12 children of Harry and Lois Carlin have honored them this year with individual donations in memory of their most generous parents.

Now, Harry Carlin’s “12 Cs” are inspiring others to give, too.

Lois and Harry Carlin Courtesy of the Carlin family

When Harry Carlin died last November, he left instructions to share his estate with the toy fund and other favorite charities. He and Lois, who died in 2010, had been faithful toy fund supports for decades, always donating $120 in honor of “the 12Cs”.

The children donated $20,000 of the estate to the fund, the largest single gift this year. And they each donated an additional $120, signing the notes according to birth order, such as “the 6th C” or “#10 C.” What’s more, all 12 Cs have said they will continue making the individual gifts for 20 years in memory of their parents.

Remarkably, there wasn’t any hesitation among any of the children, according to Theresa Labrecque, a.k.a. “the 8th C.”

Theresa Labrecque and Joe Carlin, the 8th and 9th of the 12 Cs, shared a volunteer shift at the Press Herald Toy Fund last week. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Meade

Labrecque and Joe Carlin, 9th C, also have been volunteering at the toy fund workshop this year, packing and distributing gifts for some of the children who will have a brighter holiday season because of their family and hundreds of other donors.


Harry Carlin probably would have expected no less from his children. A longtime vegetable farmer in Windham, Harry Carlin often referred to them as his best crop.

The 12 Cs will soon gather to celebrate Christmas. Most of them still live in the area, and they all remain close, Labrecque said.

It’s a big gathering. In addition to the 12, there are now 31 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Many have been inspired by the family this year, including one donor listed below who attached this note: “In honor of Harry Carlin and his 12C’s.”

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 pressherald.com/toy-fund.


Tom Cat & Jerry $100
William Pond $150
Gaston Lee $25
Happy Birthday, Tina! From Charlie & Dave $30
Deanna Korey $50
In loving memory of our sister, Diane Hayden…with all our love, Judy and Butchie $250
Patricia Frederick $100
Forest Gardens December 7th Fun $550
Comet & Cupid $50
In honor of longtime director of Toy Fund, Kathleen. Wow – what a job! Joan & John Voyer $100
In memory of Alan Hawkins, who loved Christmas. From Margaret, Emily, & Katie $100
From Alice & Willa Merrill of So. Portland for their fellow kids. $725
Believe in the Magic $500
In memory of Ella, Walt, Lois and Joe. From Tari & Ron Joyce $250
In loving memory of Roland Hughes, Ralph & Hazel Moore, & Elizabeth McKague $25
Anonymous $25
Merry Christmas! Janet Mordarski $30
Linda Freedman $100
In loving memory of Ernie Todd $50
In memory of Marilyn Todd, who loved children. From all who loved her. $50
Claire Brooks $30
Merry Xmas! From Harold Thomas $300
Janine & Richard Parker $100
In loving memory of my sister and brother – Marjorie and Roger Vaughan, from Vesta V Rand $50
Art & Anne Sears $500
Ivy Rebekah Lodge #5 $50
Stanis Moody-Roberts $100
Anonymous $500
In memory of Peggy Palmer, from Ann Sawchuck $100
In memory of Stan Allain $350
To help ensure a happy holiday for all, from the Schnapp/Almy family $100
Linda Hunt $25
In memory of Wallace R Archuck $100
In memory of Cynthia Lawhorn Oja…the love goes on. $75
Jim & Janet Bither $100
In memory of Matt Barron and Bruce Roberts $40
In honor of Harry Carlin and his 12C’s $50
In memory of Reverend Carl Beyer $50
In memory of Sid Tripp. From Kris Clark & Cindy MacKay $60
William & Julie Schirmer $50
Anonymous $100
Frank & Deborah Pecoraro $1,000
Class of ’69 Tuesday Lunch Group $105
In loving memory of our son, Adam Williams, by Almon and Allison Williams $50
In honor of Clara & Emma Coughlan $100
The Murray Charitable Trust $200
In loving memory of our beautiful granddaughter, Jessiecakes, and her great-grandparents, JBS & RMS. They all loved Christmas & children.$50
In loving memory of Alan Argondizza, from his family. $150
In memory of Bill Murphy $30
Anonymous $500
In loving memory of Walter and Stella Baker $100
Anonymous $25
Laura George Almeida $30
In honor of my grandchildren. Margaret Philbrick $50
Merry Christmas! Finnegan, Abbie, Declan, and Julia $50
In loving memory of our parents, Bill & Martha Horr and Miles & Roberta Thompson $50
Ben Odom $50
In loving memory of Frederick, Winifred, Dick and Sherri Boyce $250
Anonymous $100
In memory of our son Timmy. Mom, Dad, Robin, and Karen $250
In loving memory of Dorothy Legassie, Linda, and Bob Miller. From their family $350
Elizabeth Mahony & Jeffrey Young $200
Lorraine and Arnold Vasiliauskas $100
Patrick & Sharon Lee $100
Anonymous $100

TOTAL TO DATE: $$151,475.53

Note: This story was updated Monday, Dec. 21 to correct the year-t0-date total contributions.

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