She lost her job and hasn’t been able to go back to work because of an illness.

Now a mother from the Portland area is asking for help, and the Press Herald Toy Fund is stepping up.

“My husband does everything for the children, plus takes care of me,” she wrote in a letter to the toy fund. “It has been hard. But God has kept us blessed.”

The couple has tried to protect their boys from the family’s financial struggles and from the pandemic, she wrote. But she worries they will not get to experience the joy of a opening gifts because of circumstances far beyond their control.

“With my unemployment running out, we are not sure how we can afford Christmas for the kids. The boys have been such great kids throughout everything … and we are doing our best to keep things normal even though COVID is still around.”

Because of readers who donate money to the fund, her two boys, a 9-year-old and a 10-year-old, will have gifts to unwrap. And the whole family will have a normal, joyful Christmas morning.


The Press Herald Toy Fund began in 1949 and was long known as the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund, a reference to the pen name of the editor who cofounded the charity and wrote the annual appeals to donations. With the generous donations of readers and hard work of its volunteers,  the fund continues to provide gifts to thousands of children in need in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties.

The Press Herald partners with the Sun Journal in Lewiston and The Times Record in Brunswick, which are both based in communities served by the charity.


Paul & Kathy Anderson $10,000
Maynard & Judith Bean $100
Kelly & David Smith $250
Koocher Family Charitable Fund $1,000
In loving memory of Cynthia, Love, Sue $50
In honor of Louise Peterson and Dorothy Connor, from the Peterson Family $200
Greg & Debbie Tait $50
John & June McClean $100
Wayne $75
Carol Potter $100
Merry Christmas in the spirit of St. Nicholas, from Don & Janet Leaver $50
In memory of my mom, Nancy Loeffel, from Debra Maley $50
Anonymous $50
In loving memory of Ruth & Paul Gonya $500
Nancy Shablom $1,000
Kerry & Carl Robinson $500
Women Of the Moose Portland Chapter 1971 $100
Sharon Benoit $35
In memory of the LaChance Children, Love, Mom & Dad $150
Murray Family Foundation $175
Anonymous $259
Anonymous $5,000
Best wishes from all the Downing families, from Tom Downing & family $100
Let’s all chip in! from Anonymous $20
In memory of Tom & Brett Cooper $30
In memory of David Edward and David Richard Farnham $30
From the family, in memory of Jim Watson, of Portland. He spent many a late night
putting together impossible toys for the joy of his children $500
Laurianne Listo $40
Anonymous $50
In memory of John & Noreen Hubner $30
In memory of John & Nancy Hurst, and Uncle Dan. With Love, Tyler. $30
Samuel K. Rudman $250

TOTAL TO DATE: $50,599

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