Therese Drapeau of Freeport just finished her second year volunteering with the Press Herald Toy Fund.

She’ll be back. And she is encouraging others to join the fun next year. “We can always welcome more volunteers,” Drapeau said.

It can be hard work, especially this year when social distancing meant smaller teams on each shift sorting, packing and handing out the toys.

But, said Drapeau, “It’s like a little family. … It’s actually a lot of fun.”

The highlight for volunteers always comes in late December when parents come to pick up toys they will give to their children. The gratitude and relief is impossible to miss, even during this year’s contact-free curbside pickups.

“It’s still a connection. You’re seeing people’s eyes light up,” Drapeau said. “That’s the best part. Just to see everyone smiling.”

Donations are accepted year-round and have sustained the charity for seven decades. Donors’ names and messages will continue to be published along with periodic updates on the annual fundraising campaign in the days ahead.

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 71st year, the fund serves families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

• DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made 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

From the Pricemans $50
In honor of Mr. Bill Horne’s 100th birthday on Dec. 24, from his friends and neighbors $100
David Anisalib $100
Merry Christmas! Vincent Dudley $20
Merry Christmas to all Toy Fund recipients in honor of loved ones present and past, from the Colville family $200
Barry & Pat Unnold $500
In memory of Nana $142.65
In memory of Paul McGrath $100
Donald & Roxanne Jones $100
Anonymous $30
In memory of David C. and Twila D. Holt, missed so much during the holidays. David & Cori Holt $100
Anonymous $50
Anonymous $100
Anonymous $100
Anonymous $100
Pam & Kurt $75
Lee Fleisher $30
Spread the love – we all need it! Marianne $40
In memory of Joe Bernier $200
In memory of my dad, Dean Storey $50
Merry Christmas from the Parshleys $25
In loving memory of my Grandfather $100
Ian and Sam $250
Hoping to bring a smile to someone’s face this holiday season! In a new tradition I started with my partner to pick a charity to give to in lieu of gifts. Andrea Goodrich $150
Anonymous $20
In memory of Hedy, who loved to wrap presents $50
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season! Judie and Shelby $25
Merry Christmas from the Stephens family, Yarmouth. From Ron & Jane Stephens $100
Wishing happiness and health for the holidays! Linda S. $50
In memory of Betty Files, who loved Christmas and little children. From Mary Pettengill $50
Anonymous $30
Anonymous $50
Anonymous $50
Beth & David Sutherland $50
In memory of Charlotte LaCrosse (of Portland, formerly of Rockland), from Alison Leonard $50
Anonymous $50

Year-to-date total: $248,283.90

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