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Buffalo 'Santa,' Wife Lose Everything in Fire, Community Can Help

Multiple fire departments could only watch as Elmer and Carole Abbas' home near Buffalo burned recently. Now, the community is helping them rebuild. You can help, too.

Even this editor knows Elmer Abbas. 

As the former editor of the Monticello Times, I bumped into Elmer every holiday season. He'd be one of Santa's "elves" (as I tell my kids). My son and daughter, the latter begrudgingly, sat on his lap our first Christmas as four in this community. 

He donned the suit as well as anyone. 

But like a story straight from "The Grinch" himself, Elmer and his wife, Carole, lost everything earlier this year when their 100-year-old farmhouse near Buffalo burned to the ground. 

Dramatic video and photos of the fire from Minnesota Storm Chaser Bill Doms can be seen here. Like me, Doms takes a personal angle on this one, with his blog.

We've also embedded a story done by Fox9 News on the Abbas family, done shortly after the New Year. If you can't see that video on your mobile device, click here for the Fox9 site. 

The great news is...you can help. The Abbas family has set up a Facebook page for their mom and dad. They're sharing memories of Elmer as Santa and Carole's cooking and everything in between. They're also sharing information about donations needed (including gift cards, especially to Target or Walgreens) so Elmer and Carole can rebuild their lives and make some new memories with their family.

The Abbas crew (they have six children) has also set up a site on Rally.org. Daughter Liz writes the most basic needs now, as Carole and Elmer move to a rental home, are "necessities and clothing." 

And don't worry about next Christmas. Elmer has already received a donated Santa suit. He'll be right back at it in 2014. 

Give Back to the Abbas Family
Facebook Site is Here

Mail Gift Cards, checks or even cards/notes of encouragement to:
Elmer and Carole Abbas Home Fund
P.O. Box 373
Buffalo, MN 55313


Jen Abbas de Jong January 10, 2014 at 06:25 PM
Thanks for writing such a helpful, personal story about the fire. Elmer is my dad. Our family is overwhelmed with gratitude by the way the community is coming together to help. THANK YOU!

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