Readers of the Press Herald have once again topped $100,000 in donations to make sure thousands of Maine children will enjoy holidays with gifts to unwrap and new toys to enjoy in spite of poverty, illness, domestic violence or other hardships.

That’s no small achievement, thanks to the hundreds of individuals, families and companies who have given so far.

It’s also not enough, considering the unrelenting need out there, according to Toy Fund Director Kathleen Meade. The toy fund typically aims for $200,000, although it hasn’t hit that level for several years. So, for Meade, the six-figure milestone means we’re halfway there.

Donations to the Toy Fund have declined overall in recent years, from a high of $260,000 during the 2009-2010 holiday season, to $110,334 in contributions last year. That has happened as costs have risen and as demand for help has remained steady, with parents seeking gifts for thousands of children.

“To cover this year as well as make up for the few past years of  lackluster donations, $200,000 will strengthen the fund,” Meade said. “We need more people to contribute and to encourage friends and family to join them in donating.”

The Toy Fund will continue to accept donations throughout, and beyond, the holiday season.

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 provides toys to needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

• DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made year round at pressheraldtoyfund.org 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: pressheraldtoyfund.org.

TODAY’S DONATIONS:

In honor of our great volunteers, present and past  $100
Merry Christmas from Aubree, Preston, and the girls  $25
Judy Benoit  $100
Linda Hanscom  $50
Patrick & Sharon Lee  $100
In memory of Kathy Lowell and Phil Lowell from the family  $50
Evelyn & Steven Hundley  $50
In memory of my wonderful wife, Joyce – Emery Freeman  $200
Laddie Deemer  $100
In memory of Tommie C and Mom & Dad O  $25
Bless all of you who make this happen – Nancy & James Vanites  $20
In memory  of my sister & brother-in-law, Peggy & Bob Jewett  $200
In memory of Linda L Libby – The Higgins family  $100
In memory of our departed family members – Charlie P and Maryann P  $100
Ada Spinney  $100
Sandy Johnson & Clint Strout  $100
In memory of Barry Campbell, Vietnam Veteran, May 1947 – March 1995  $100
In memory of Ella & Bick  $25
In loving memory of Herbert R Adams & Roxanne Adams from Louise  $50
Linda Freeman  $100
Karen MacNeill  $50
Waterville Street Elves  $35
Anonymous  $100
Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho!!! Santa  $100
Anonymous  $100
Anonymous  $50
In loving memory of Grady Pierce, from the family  $100
Merry Christmas! Love, Peter, Sarah, Sean, and Tobin  $500
Paul & Wendy Coleman  $20
Sending Holiday Smiles … from Melodie Cook  $100
Kids share, from Kier and Erik  $20
In memory of our sweet Tristam. Love Susan and Michael $50
Merry Christmas! Charlie & Cathy Toppi  $50
In honor of the WHS ’68 Breakfast Friends  $25
In memory of Phillip D. Spiller, Sr.  $40

Year to date: $101,090.50

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