Last year, the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund expanded its reach to serve families and children in Androscoggin County.

And this year, the fund began its 69th season by getting a big “thank you.”

Walmart Logistics, which has a large distribution center in Lewiston, sent the fund a check for $1,500.

The money, together with donations from newspaper readers and other businesses and organizations, will be used to buy gifts for thousands of children who might face a bleak holiday season because of hardships faced by their parents or grandparents.

The Walmart distribution center is a big part of the community in Androscoggin County. It employs about 600 people who help distribute groceries to Walmart stores from Maine to Connecticut and upstate New York, said General Manager Rich Bourget.

The distribution center also makes community-based donations totaling about $25,000 a year, which Bourget said is a reflection of the corporatewide philosophy at Walmart. The recipients range from local schools to veterans groups, he said. This year, the toy fund was included on the gift list.

It’s a gesture that is sure to be appreciated by local families and social service agencies in the Lewiston area, who said the fund’s expansion last year filled a gap in the programs that help Androscoggin County families through difficult times.

THE PRESS HERALD TOY FUND in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts uses donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents. Now in its 69th year, the fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

APPLICATIONS can be downloaded at or picked up at the Press Herald’s Welcome Center, at 295 Gannett Drive in South Portland. Call 791-6672 or 791-6600 to have one mailed to you.

DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made at or by writing checks to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund and mailing them to the fund at P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112.


SEE MORE STORIES about the fund at


Nancy Greska $100

In memory of Stanley F. Sampson Jr. $50

Beverly Baker $25

In loving memory of our parents, Stan and Ruth Blake, and our sister, Janet Blake, from Linda Cooper and Bonnie Kam $50

Richard & Shirley McIntosh $25

In loving memory of our son Timothy Michael – Jim & Jackie Durant $100

Anonymous $25

Erin & Christina $50

Francis Fay $100

Burpey Pond $20

In memory of Ann Waterhouse $50

In memory of Gramma “D” – The Leeper family $100

Don & Natalie Skelton $25

Daniel Bell $200

Tom Rumpf $50

Jellison Well family $50

In honor of Kerry Norton’s birthday. Kerry loves Christmas and children and wants nothing more than her birthday gifts to be routed to families in need in southern Maine $100

Giving thanks for our blessings – KSS & JCS $50

In memory of Louise Peterson and Dorothy Connor $200

Frank & Nancy Fowles $50

Kara and Jeremy Law and family $100

In loving memory of Alice Davis, from Debbie & Mick $50

Total for year $13,324

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