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OLAF FUB SEZ: An observation from British author and critic Rebecca West, born Cicely Isabel Fairfield on this date in 1892, “Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds, he would have done better to preach to the cats.”

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Dear Santa

Oh, jolly Santa, please hear my plea,

What I’d like for Christmas, just for me.

A mink coat would be very nice

Or a diamond the size of a cube of ice.

I know a car would not fit under the tree,

But the keys for it would fill me with glee.

You can skip the gift of delicious, rich food,

Which surely would not put me in a good mood.

But actually, the gift I would like the best of all

Would just be to win Lotto’s biggest windfall!

— Honey Snitzer

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TIME OF NEED – Fortunately, Gwen Carter and her 8-year-old daughter, Lyric, escaped unhurt from an early-morning fire Nov. 25 in their Niagara Falls apartment. Unfortunately, it destroyed everything they owned.

To help them get back to normal, friends and family are holding a fundraiser from 6 to 10 this evening in Cadille Post 1664, American Legion, 752 E. Market St., Niagara Falls. Donation is $20 and includes music, food and beverages. There also will be a cash bar. Basket auctions will feature baskets from New Era Caps.

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KIND THOUGHTS – Inspired by NBC News correspondent Ann Curry’s appeal to commit 26 random acts of kindness to honor the 26 victims of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., Jessica Bosch, a research technician at Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and her best friend, Leah Randazzo, both June graduates of Geneseo State College, have done 25 of them.

For their 26th, they are trying to raise $2,600 in donations for the Newtown School District to buy supplies for the students displaced to another school following the tragedy. To contribute to their fundraiser, visit http://gogetfunding.com/project/sandy-hook-school-26-acts-of-kindness.

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SPIRIT OF GIVING – Speaking of acts of kindness, when employees of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Buffalo Sector aren’t keeping a keen eye on the international crossings, they’re raising funds for worthy causes.

On Dec. 1, agents and employees plunged into the chilly waters of Lake Erie in the Polar Plunge, raising more than $2,300 for the New York Special Olympics. They organized a giving tree for City Mission of Buffalo, which resulted in donations of 36 hats and 57 pairs of mittens. They teamed up with the Marine Corps Reserve to collect more than 75 toys for the Toys for Tots program. And they joined with Niagara University and other local law enforcement agencies to collect more than a ton of food for the Food Bank of Western New York in Niagara Falls.

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PLANNING AHEAD – The Muscular Dystrophy Association is looking for volunteer medical staff for its annual summer camp for youngsters 6 to 17 years old with neuromuscular disease. Due to the medical needs of the campers, MDA is required to have round-the-clock medical coverage for them during their week at Rotary Sunshine Camp in Rush from June 22 to 28.

Ideally, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians would be able to make a commitment to volunteer for the entire week, but arrangements can be made for those who can volunteer only for a day or two. For info, call the MDA at 626-0035 or email buffalo@mdausa.org.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Thomas Burton, Sandy Carrubba, Nicole Safe, Stefanie Baxter, Emily Hocutt, Joe Graham, Dennis Kless, Irene Glinski, Doug Mueller, Christine Lewandowski, Zachary Ziskowski, Brian Nagy, Carol Sweet, Bill Wolf and Macy Gabel.

SATURDAY – Kaiti Hoffman, Becky Avino, Betty Bronstein, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Irwin Pate, Joy Testa-Cinquino, Jeff Ford Jr., Anabell Perrelli, John Godzuk, Aria Miceli, Larry Graner, Heidi Bugenhagen Urban, Pam Bugenhagen Lindstrom, Emmy Lou Hess, Donna Recktenwalt, Bill Yeates Sr., Pamela Tiernan, Matthew Adams, Jonathon Blankenship, Tom Sicignano, Jennifer Kibler, Sister Marjorie Wisert and Leo Sullivan.

AND SUNDAY – Jack Connolly, Estelle Gafter, Rita Hausbeck, Emily Weiss, Amy Halt, Jeremy Giordano, Barbara Plezia, Lorraine Kotarski, Alice Bienik, Victor Filipski and Lois I. Lewis.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com