The letters that flow into the Press Herald Toy Fund each winter are filled with stress and worry. Some are tinged with despair or hope. And there is always gratitude.

One letter containing all of those was put in the mail just before Thanksgiving by a woman in Cumberland County. Her five children range in age from 6 to 17. And she needs help.

“I am a single mom of five. I work full time and I am also going to school to get my nursing degree,” she wrote. “Things are tough at the time with one income. We make it paycheck by paycheck.

“I am currently behind on my light and heat bills. Currently, we are without heat. I am trying to get some help from my church before winter gets here,” she wrote. “Having some gifts under the tree will make my kids happy, and in turn I will be very happy. And again I appreciate your help and thank you in advance.”

Reached by telephone on Friday, with her younger children competing for her attention, the mother said she is still trying to get help to fill her oil tank so she can use her furnace. She expects to hear back soon from the church, and, if not, will seek help from her town’s General Assistance office on Monday, she said.

“We have a couple little (electric) heaters that are kind of working. They are better than nothing,” she said.


Asked how her children are coping with the lack of heat in their home, she said, “They are kind of handling it.”

As for herself, she said, she works when they are in school, and she manages to make progress toward her nursing degree in between everything else.

“It’s tough, actually,” she said. “I’m just juggling. I don’t know how I do it, honestly.”

Told that the toy fund received her letter and will take care of holiday gifts for her children, she said she was relieved to have one thing she can stop worrying about.

“Thank you so much.”


Margie & Charlie Emmons  $200
From Katy, Maggie & Bill  $25
Cathy Holt  $37
Patricia Buttner  $30
In loving memory of my parents, Bob & Bertha White, & my sister, Debbie Preble, from Delphine Palmer  $50
Merry Christmas! From Steven & Sandra Capriola  $50
Molly, Maggie and Girls  $45
In memory of Anthony C. Mancini  $50
In honor of my grandchildren: Brandon, Connor, Samantha and Trevor  $100
Janet Mordarski  $25
Newell & Suzanne Augur  $100
In memory of Aunt Aldona & Uncle Larry Barnes, with love, Leslie Lawrence  $25
Beverly & Donald Esson  $100
In love and honor for our grandchildren: Alana, Sam, Jordan, Maria, Noah, Ethan, Lara, Dara, James, Meri, Finn and Oliver  $300
Lynn & William Herbert  $25
In memory of my mom, Ruth Hamm, who donated every year. Miss her so much! Love, Mary Turner  $100
In loving memory of Darlene & Larry Holston  $60
Robert & Ann Rossi  $25
In memory of Timmy. From Mom, Dad, Robin & Karen  $200
Gary & Jane Farmer  $50
Charles Dodge  $100
Lorna Dorsey  $30
Mr. & Mrs. David Pike  $40
In memory of Mom and Dad Foss  $100
In memory of Stanley F. Sampson Jr.  $50
Sandra & Chuck Radis  $100
In loving memory of “Scooter” Dusini  $125
Merry Christmas!  $50
Merry Christmas! Kathy, Michael and Emily  $100
Anonymous  $30
In memory of Geraldine & Warren  $100
In memory of Hank Pols from the Baird Family  $200
Stanley Allain  $300
In memory of my Oom Ton  $100
In memory of Al, Glen & Sue  $100
God bless the children in memory of Jr. & Irma Clogston  $50
In memory of my Dad, Ronnie Strout. Miss you dearly, Sandee & Joe  $50
Lee-Ann Van Atta  $50
Year to date: $55,618.50


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