It was a simple idea: Use the power of social media to remind one another what the holiday season is all about.

We’re not talking about shopping here, although that would be an understandable misconception in the wake of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

This is Giving Tuesday, a concept that first appeared on social media feeds 10 years ago as #givingtuesday. It is described as a movement to jolt us out of consumption mode and unleash “radical generosity,” which might mean helping a neighbor, making a donation to a local charity or just making someone smile.

The Press Herald Toy Fund, the 73-year-old product of another very simple idea, is one of the charities that benefits from Giving Tuesday. The fund sees a welcome bump in donations each year around this day.

And that’s fitting given that the toy fund has been a steadfast reminder of the meaning of the season for seven decades. The fund also has long offered a way to help neighbors in need and put smiles on the faces of thousands of children who often have little to smile about.

The toy fund uses donations from newspaper readers to buy holiday gifts for children who might otherwise be left out of the simple joys of the season because of hardships facing their families, from lost jobs or homelessness to illnesses or deaths of loved ones.


And this year’s appeals have been heartbreaking. Many parents say a combination of rising costs and expiring pandemic relief programs is making holiday gifts for their children a luxury they can’t afford.

Newspaper readers are once again determined to not let them go without. You might call it radical generosity. One donor explained it a little differently in a note attached to a $50 donation this week: “Paying it forward.”


In loving memory of Mom & Dad, from #10 of the 12 C’s $120
Anonymous $200
Thank you Maine for wonderful vacations and your PLOVERS, Susan Lybeck $200
Merry Christmas from the 4th C. $120
Wrigley wishes you a cool yule! $100
In honor of Estelle Snell, Rupie & Millie Richardson, and Harold & Jo Richardson $100
May God bless the children with a very Merry Christmas in loving memory of our Dad, from the Layman Family $100
In memory of our Pappou Nick. From Nick, Andrew and Jack Pellechia $30
Don & Janet Leaver $50
For Nana $50
Merry Christmas from Ladybug, Charlie and Marley $50
In honor of Dorothy Connor and Louise Peterson $400
In memory of Kate Fritzsche $50
Anonymous $50
Beth Dolley & Chuck Jacksom $50
In memory of Clarence & Phyliss Smith, from Steve & Margaret Smith $100
In memory of Jeffrey Smith, from his family $100
Richard Kessler & Pamela Cox $250
In memory of Anna Pelosi and Austin McIntyre $100
In memory of STB II and HHK $50
In memory of Ruth & Paul Gonya $500
Willow, the dog $100
Merry Christmas to the little ones! From Anne Noyes $100
Merry Christmas! Rufus $50
Anonymous $50

YEAR-TO-DATE: $21,226.60



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