A young mother living north of Portland thought she was going to make it through the pandemic without asking for any help.
Then, last month, she was laid off from her job with a fast-food restaurant.
With two kids, no spouse and no income, she joined the tens of thousands of other Mainers seeking unemployment benefits. And she wrote a note to the Press Herald Toy Fund.
“I was employed and not anticipating needing the help,” she wrote. “However, due to my job loss and the accumulating bills, it is going to be very hard if not impossible to still have money for Christmas gifts this year.
“My boys are 8 and 5. Any and all help would be amazing and really appreciated! Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!”
• 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 is accepting applications for toys from needy 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.
In memory of our parents, John & Peggy McKinnon, from the McKinnon Kids – Marijane, Penny, Jack, Tomi & Bruce $100
Pete & Sandy Guild $300
Sandra & David Michniewicz $200
Jim & Sheila Farragher $50
Jerry Angler $100
Brian & Carol Keroack $150
Richard & Charlotte Coggins $100
Prudence Bean & Nicholas Beram $300
In memory of Red & Dot Swett $100
Ivy Rebekah Lodge #5 Independent Order of Odd Fellows $50
Daniel & Ellen Richards $100
Merry Christmas to all the children! $100
Christmas toys! Susan Pelley $500
The Alchorn Family $100
Margaret Philbrick $100
Thank you and Happy Holidays! $25
In memory of Ann Waterhouse $60
Tux Turkel $100
Robert and Linell Slaktowicz $50
Mary Ann Underkoffler $40
Doris Salzman $100
Laura George Almeida $25
Brayden, Ava, Will, Harper $50
Mrs. Gray $100
In honor of Carl Akin, volunteer for many years. Thanks, Carl! Alan $50
Phyllis Coelho $100
Thank you for helping families! Eric & Lena Strange $50
To honor Earl & Muriel Goodspeed, from Laura & Bill Feder $50
Laraine & Walter Lach $50
The Schnapp/Almy Family $50
In the name of Jesus, may your Christmas be blessed $30
In memory of Dad, David G. Taylor, from David and Rachel $100
In memory of Dave Hill, from Brian and Sidney Leonard $100
In memory of Whit Steele $50
Total year-to-date: $69,931.25