Parents who turn to the Press Herald Toy Fund sometimes have a hard time overcoming their pride and asking for help.

But the pride they have in their children is even more powerful.

Letters parents write about their families often include lots of details about their children and why they deserve a happy Christmas just like every other child. And it seems that some parents simply want the fund’s donors and volunteers to know some things about the children they are helping.

One proud parent wrote that her children “keep their bedrooms clean and their beds made.”

Another wrote that her child is “an ‘A’ student,” and another that her child “helps us at home with siblings.”

One mother described her preschooler by writing that she “loves music and dancing and is a very, sweet, energetic girl. She loves school and her friends.”

Yet another letter describes a 4-year-old boy who “is obsessed with space, rocket ships and NASA,” and his older sister who “is very girly girl, but decided she no longer likes pink!”

“My children will take very good care of the toys,” one proud parent pledged.

It’s for reasons like that, parents say, that they don’t want their children to feel passed by or less deserving of holiday gifts simply because the adults in the home are struggling financially. And they want to let their children stay children in spite of hardships at home such as illness, divorce, the death of a family member or whatever else is jeopardizing their holidays.

One parent summed it up simply: “We want them to have the opportunity to be just children and live as other children do.”

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 70th year, the fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, call 791-6672 or go to:


In loving memory of Paul Phillips Jr,& David Phillips who loved Christmas&kids from family  $100
In memory of Jack Deering  $100
Anonymous  $35
Judy & Joe Fagone  $50
Dad & Mom  $100
LT’s! $50
In memory of Ray D Gibson  $20
Anonymous  $30
Thomas & Catharine Masterson  $100
In memory of Joseph Chaisson who always gave to the Fund – Nola Chaisson  $50
In honor of our granddaughters – Amelia & Bridget. From Nana & Papa G  $100
Anonymous  $50
Dylan, Sam, and AJ  $100
In memory of Joan & Guy Rowe. We love & miss you every day – Lisa,Lindy,Miranda,Carley  $50
In memory of Paul Davis  $100
Pop  $35
Brian Steppacher  $75
Sarah Smith  $50
The LL Bean Retirees  $100
We miss you Grampy/Dad – The Taylors  $200
Kathleen & Ken Pierce  $100
Katherine Crosson and Lynn Bailets  $100
In memory of Jacob M Brown  $100
For my parents Robert & Norma Foster  $100
In memory of our daughter Lerin Jane Foley – Robert & Maryanne Foley  $100
Happy holidays!
For the kids – Hauskaa Joulua  $50
In memory of Nancy Loeffel – Debby Maley  $100
In memory of Chris Foley – Joe, Donna, Patrick, and Jackie  $100
Anonymous  $30
In memory of two wonderful sets of parents – Robert&Marjorie Minor and Lucien&Laura Boislard. Merry Christmas  $100
Edward & Leslie Garber  $100
Pauline & Kenneth Curtis  $100

Year to date:  $66,048.50

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