They had to close their family business when the pandemic hit last year, yet hoped they could dig out of the hole in 2021.

But this year wasn’t much better. And now a grandmother from southern Maine is asking for help so her four grandchildren can still experience the joy of opening gifts on Christmas.

“I have been blessed with the job of raising my 4 grandchildren,” she wrote in a letter to the toy fund.

She and her husband had been doing well supporting the family with a small seasonal food business. They had to close in 2020 when the pandemic effectively shut down the summer economy, but they hoped it was temporary.

“We reopened in May and it was challenging to survive. Everything cost more, supplies were down, and people had adjusted to eating at home more. The business closed in October and I have not returned to a regular job yet,” she wrote.

Three of the grandchildren are in school, while the youngest granddaughter is 3 years old. Caring for the toddler and supporting an older child with medical challenges has kept the grandmother from getting a job.


“My husband went back to driving a truck and excavation work,” she wrote, and they are trying to get by on his income alone.

“We just need a little help with Christmas this year and with three teens and a toddler we are struggling,” she wrote. “We would appreciate any help at this time. God bless and thank you.”

Generous donations from readers of the Portland Press Herald, the Sun Journal in Lewiston and The Times Record in Brunswick allow the toy fund to provide gifts to thousands of children in need in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties. To help, go to


Thanks for the good work! Gerard & Patricia Bouchard $50
Happy Holidays! $150
George Waldman $25
Gary & Jane Farmer $100
Willemsen Family $100
Pat & Patti DeFilipp $100
Lorraine Pregenzer $250
Merry Christmas! The Stowell family $150
Diana & Tom Allen $200
In loving memory of Grandma Dot, from the Irish family $100
Every kid should be happy at Christmas! Bonnie & Rusty Clukey $100
In memory of Nancy Flaherty who made Christmas magical, from Tom Flaherty Jr. and family $450
Merry Christmas! $100

TOTAL TO DATE: $57,034

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