LEWISTON — Hope House’s “Hope for the Holidays,” now in its 27th year, provided holiday assistance to 162 families this season. Family gift boxes made up specifically for each household requesting them, with gifts for each family member, went out to 145 families.

This year close to 500 children received a toy or gift with their name on it, children whose families are challenged and need to know somebody cares.

Toys for Tots, Percy’s Burrow in Topsham, Dollar Tree in Auburn and other community groups and individuals donated thousands of dollars worth of toys and gifts. Families not able to receive a box received gift vouchers donated by Goodwill.

Hope House directors Bruce and Jan Willson talked about the greater-than-usual need area families experienced this year, as well as the miracles that keep happening to help Hope House get them the help they need: everything from a pro-bono heater repair by Maxim Heating when the heater stopped working right as toys needed to be sorted, to 50 gallons of oil donated by Heutz Oil company when heating oil ran out amidst the assembling of boxes, and even an unexpected donation from Dollar Tree of much needed bows, gift bags, etc., ensuring that all the boxes looked special.

“It seems like this year, there’s just a little more hope out there thanks to a generous community,” said Bruce Willson.

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