Volunteers have been vital to the mission of the Press Herald Toy Fund ever since the first holiday gift drive in 1949.

It takes a lot of labor to unpack and sort thousands of toys and books, and then repackage them in age-appropriate gift bags for more than 3,000 children. Not to mention processing applications, managing inventory and other tasks.

Many of the volunteers come back year after year and couldn’t imagine the holidays without doing their part to help the children.

Their knowledge and experience was a big help to Jeff Ham, a retired Press Herald editor who stepped in as operations manager this year.

“They always got a lot more work done than I expected, and they always wanted to do more,” Ham said.

“They covered a wide range of jobs, with some digging in on data input, some matching books with certain age groups and some – with help from very generous businesses – bringing in food to keep the crew well fed.”


Here is a shoutout of gratitude to the 2023 Toy Fund volunteers:

Mary Beth Carion, Dianne Goodrich, Mary Miller, Mary Cavallaro, Roxie Johnston, Brent Johnston, Pam Dugas, Mary Jo Arris, John Voyer, Joan Voyer, Deb Abbondanza, Mary Lou Shuster, Mary Peters, Barbi Diaz, Susan Lindsay, Linda Paul, Barbara Judge, Kathy Camire, Sheila Moran, Gail Kinney, Craig Kinney, Julie Pew, Theresa Labrecque, Gretchen Stanton, Janet Edmunson, Pat Knittel, Chris Bachmeyer, Joe Carlin, Priscilla O’Neil, Janet Page, Patrice O’Neil and Susan Taylor.

While the volunteers have mostly finished their work for the year, the fundraising continues at full speed. Money raised through the end of 2023, and year-round, will be used to cover the costs of the annual gift drive and keep the tradition going into the future.

To make a donation online, go to pressherald.com/toy-fund.

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)

In memory of Dot, Linda and Bob – the family. Edward and Cynthia Legassie …… $350

Kara Law …… $100

Merry Christmas! Tom and Fat Cat. Cynthia and Joseph Wyman …… $100

Kristen Damuth …… $100


Jane Henry $…… 100

Happy holidays. Katharine DeGrace …… $50

Merry Christmas. Patrick and Sharon Lee …… $100

Merry Christmas. Walda and David Gallant …… $100

In memory of my Aunt Frances T. Dooley, who was always so kind and generous to her nephews. Much missed. John Dooley …… $300

In memory of Tom Rowe. Dara Jarrendt …… $50


In memory of Maxine Hartford, who loved Christmas and children. Kathleen Carr …… $200

Bless the children in 2024 and always! Nature Lover Lee  Lee Ann Whitney …… $30

Robert and Candace Guerette …… $100

In memory of Diana Pullen and Helga Hauk. Paula Ward …… $100

John and Jean Northrup …… $100

Happiest Christmas for the kids, love, Ya Ya and Pop Pop David and Patricia Keenan …… $100


Treekeepers LLC – Johnson’s Arboriculture …… $150

On behalf of the tenants at 156-58 Danforth, 57 Tyng, 197 Spring and 255-57 York streets in Portland. …… $1,000

Merry Christmas. Lorraine Pregenzer …… $250

John Johnston …… $100

Nancy Bogg and Mark Kiefner …… $100

Matthew Goldfarb …… $100

Jeanne Wright …… $50

In memory of Stephen J. Haggan. Bunny Andrews …… $100

TOTAL TO DATE: $172,421.07

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