The Press Herald Toy Fund understands how important it is for a child to simply experience joy.

It has been in the joy business since 1949. But sometimes it can seem like providing gifts for the holidays is the least we can do.

Parents who write to the Toy Fund often say how important it is to them that their children have holiday gifts to unwrap and new toys to play with so they can forget, at least for a little while, that life can be hard.

A mother from southern Maine recently wrote one such letter to ask for gifts to give her four children, who range from 2 years old to 12.

“I was widowed while pregnant with my youngest in 2019. My husband died by suicide. We had lost a baby the previous year due to a genetic disorder,” she explained.

“I became disabled from the stress and trauma of these events. We live on survivor benefits and disability, but I can really only cover expenses each month.”


As much as she and her children have been through, all she asks is for help to give them some new toys to play with.

“My children have lost a lot and it’s a struggle to make the holidays special for them. Any help is so appreciated. God Bless You.”

Readers who donate to the Toy Fund will brighten the holidays for her children and thousands of others in the coming days.

To make a donation online or apply for assistance, go to

Checks made out to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund may be mailed to 295 Gannett Drive, South Portland ME 04106.

Names of donors are published in the Press Herald, the Sun Journal and the Times Record unless a donor wishes to remain anonymous.



(note: some donations include an additional amount to cover transaction fees)

Catherine St. Pierre $150

Ivy Rebecca Lodge #5 $50

In memory of Alica and Bill Amerio. Eugenie Pettengill and Donna Amerio. $40

In memory of Robert Pettengill. Eugenie Pettengill and Donna Amerio $50


Anonymous $50

In loving memory of my Dad, Alex Frustaci, who was a great supporter of the Christmas Fund. Madeline Coppinger $25

Anonymous $400

From Molly, Maggie and the girls. Patricia Cuccaro $70

F.D. Buttner and Patrica Buttner $50

John and Marilyn Heise $50


Anonymous $52.91

In memory of my mother, Phyllis. $105.52

Merry Christmas. Anne Noyes $105.52

Anonymous $210.73

In memory of Kay and Wally $105.52

So all Maine children can experience the magic of Christmas. Gretchen and O.Ray Stanton $368.54


Anonymous $21.35

In loving memory of Robert and Simone Lapierre, from Robert and Doris Lapierre $105.52

In memory of Phil, Henty and Laurie LaRou. Anonymous $263.33

In loving memory of Rene and Blanche Dauphin, from Robert and Doris Lapierre  $105.52

In memory of Jean, whose favorite holiday was Christmas $105.52

Anonymous $75


In loving memory of Larry Pixley Robin Ratcliffe $263.33

Happy Holidays! $52.91

In Memory of Jim and Janice Owen $50

This donation is in lieu of Christmas Cards and postage this season. Merry Christmas little ones. Rick & Charlotte Coggins $105.52

Anonymous $52.91

In honor of the Hugo Vidal Family Celia & Victor Wakefield $42.39


In memory of Joan & Richard Brooks $200

In memory of Sean Casey and Woody Bigelow $158.12

Anonymous $200

Anonymous $200

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes to Brian Robitaille and the rest of the Press Herald news staff Bob Dixon & family $73.96

Peggy Waterman and family $1,052.39


Warm holiday wishes. Benjamin Family $52.91

Anonymous $105.52

Anonymous $210.73

For Lorraine $105.52

Anonymous $105.52

TOTAL TO DATE:  $81,645.91

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