Single parents raising children by themselves have been helped by the Press Herald Toy Fund for generations.

This year, rising costs of housing, high energy bills and a shortage of child care are pushing many single parents over the edge.

“I am going though a lot financially,” wrote a mother of a 2-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter from the Midcoast. “Their father has left us. I am a stay-at-home mom with no job and currently filing for social security.

“I don’t even know how or what I’m going to do for Christmas. The only income I receive is TANF (temporary assistance for needy families) and I use all of it to cover my mortgage,” she wrote.

And as hard as it is for single parents at the holidays, letters to the toy fund are filled with concern for their children and a desire to give them reasons to laugh and play despite the absence of a parent.

“I am a single father to two boys, 10 and 9. The boys have only me in their life for the past three years. Their mother battles with addiction and can’t provide any support,” he wrote.


“I’m reaching out for help because of my financial situation. I receive no help from their mother at all for any holidays or birthdays. We are financially stable as far as needs, but I do not have much extra to spend on wants.

“Both my boys are very active. They are very caring and polite boys  and I wish to do nothing but the best I can for them.

“Any help at all would be extremely helpful and very much appreciated by my boys and myself. Thank you very much.”

To make a donation online or apply for assistance, go to

Checks made out to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund may be mailed to 295 Gannett Drive, South Portland ME 04106.

Names of donors are published in the Press Herald, the Sun Journal and the Times Record unless a donor wishes to remain anonymous.



(note: some donations include an additional amount to cover transaction fees)

Anonymous $52.91

Don & Anne Staples $52.91

In memory of Owen Kaz $105.52

Anonymous $52.91


The Graham Family, Patricia Graham $31.87

Sam and Linda Saltonstall $50

In memory of Mike Woodhead $52.91

In memory of David Edward and David Richard Farnham $30

Keith & Barbara Sawyer $100.00

Anonymous $52.91


Merry Christmas! Sandy and Steve Capriola $50

Frank and Nancy Fowles $105.52

Happy Holidays! Gayle Lynds and John Sheldon $105.52

Joan Kincaid, from Eric, Chris, and Liz Eric Herlan  $105.52

Anonymous $105.52

Anonymous $31.87


Merry Christmas from Lucien and Sadie $52.91

In memory of Jezzie, Jezzie $105.52

Anonymous $105.52

Lois Martin $50.00

Blessings The Stickajawayas $526.35

Martha Ehrmann $105.52


In memory of John & Germaine Dorazio  $263.33

Anonymous $105.52

Steve & Rachel Hendrickson  $100.00

In loving memory of Lorraine Dionne Riina, John C. Riina $105.52

Alexandra Reissman $100.00

In memory of our son, Jonathan Michael Sawyer Peter and Joy $526.35


Lois Martin  $52.91

Emily and Matthew Bullard $105.52

In loving memory of Sistie, J, Dot and Andy  The Fisher Family $105.52

in honor of our grandchildren and for all children, Happy Holidays! Terri & Rick Grover $52.91

In memory of our son Patrick Peaslee Timothy and Cheryl Peaslee $52.91

Anonymous $26.61


David and Nancy Adam $105.52

In Memory of Beverly Wallace  $526.35

In memory of Thomas and Brett Cooper  $30

Anonymous  $421.14

Anonymous  $105.52

For the love of Christmas ! In Loving Memory of Adrienne Harris. Mom & Dad $52.91


Anonymous $31.87

Alice and Dick Spencer $105.52

Anonymous $200

From Judith and David Kelly Judith and David Kelly $300

In loving memory of Doris Lyons Grace and Richard Beaumont Jr.  $100

Anonymous $100


Sarah Smith $100

Barton Dunning $100

For the children of Maine. With Lots of love, In memory of Larry and Aldona Barnes. We miss them so much.        Leslie Lawrence and Paul Holmstrand $25

Francis Fay $200

Lawrence Clough $100

Sally Richardson and Jona Rice  $50

TOTAL TO DATE:  $38,094.51

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