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Brightening their faces, brightening the season

It was warm and cozy inside the safe house. A Christmas tree was set up, but there were no presents beneath it. That is, until three Metro staffers showed up.

It was warm and cozy inside the safe house. A Christmas tree was set up, but there were no presents beneath it.

That is, until three Metro staffers showed up. We dropped off our first round of gifts that Metro readers like you bought. The boys staying in the home were ecstatic; their faces lit up when we handed over Dora the Explorer games, Star Wars figures and Candy Land.

The boys and their teenage sister are staying at the safe house with their mother and will be there through the holiday season.

On Dec. 21, New York Cares is holding a holiday dinner for these children and others like them, but Elba Moreira, a children’s youth counselor at the facility, is worried there won’t be enough gifts for all the kids.

“We already have 100 kids who are coming, and that was in October,” said Moreira. “We always get more at the last minute.”

Do you want to help out? Metro is buying gifts for New York Cares and Toys for Toys, but you only have a few days left if you want to donate!

Click on the “Metro Magic” logo in the top left corner. You will be redirected to ToysRUs.com, where you can purchase a gift online. It’s that easy. All gifts will be mailed to the Metro offices.

12 days: And a partridge in a pear tree

Gray partridges are not native to New York, but you can spy them upstate near the St. Lawrence River. More common, said Michael Burger, director of conservation and science
at Audubon New York, is the ruffed grouse, known as partridges and found in state forests — or old orchards. It would not be uncommon, he said, “to find one in a pear tree.”

While you’re upstate, get a dwarf pear tree at George’s Market and Nursery in Latham, N.Y., for $59.
–Alison Bowen/Metro

Bronx family given the gift of live performance

On the first day of Christmas, New Victory Theater gave one family a walk down the Great White Way.

New Victory Theater donated to a Bronx family of four tickets to any one of its upcoming shows this winter. Located on 42nd Street in the heart of the Broadway theater district, New Victory Theater is a family theater that features shows for children ages 4 and up, as well as adults.

The family will be spending this holiday in a homeless shelter, so Metro bought them all a little something: A Dora sing-along A-B-C player, a kitty purse, mittens and a hat for Jasmine; an MLB 2K10 game and a warm hat for Timothy; a Victoria’s Secret gift card and a makeup set for mom, Michelle; and an American Eagle fleece for dad, Tim.

Eleven days of Christmas left to go!

Come party with us!

Metro wants to thank our hundreds of readers who have donated a gift to our Metro Magic campaign — or will give one tonight — at a holiday party. More than 50 readers have RSVP’d. Will you show up?

1st time at Copia? The restaurant/lounge just open­ed last month and has a full bar and kitchen, plus a chef that hails from Fatty Crab and Spice Market. Hand-rolled cheese sticks, chili lime wings and salt and pepper calamari are among the appetizers available, along with specialty cocktails.

Party details

» When: Tonight
» Where: Copia restaurant, at 53rd Street and Second Avenue
» Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
» How: A $10 donation at the door or a new, unwrapped toy gets you one free drink ticket and a raffle ticket to win prizes like Nets tickets and tickets to Broadway shows.
» RSVP to charity@metro.us.

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