— -- The magic of Christmas is the ability to spread cheer and joy despite the hardships one faces, and that’s the message one determined little girl is spreading this holiday season with a simple wish.
Sa'fyre Terry had lived in and out of foster homes when an arson fire killed her father and three siblings on May 2, 2013, in Schnectady, New York. She was 5 years old at the time. The blaze burned 75 percent of her body and eventually claimed her right arm and left foot. Now 8 years old, she said the only gift she wants this Christmas is cards from all over the world, her aunt, Liz Dolder, told ABC News today.
Dolder brought home a gold metal Christmas tree stand from a Goodwill store in Schnectady for $4 and Sa'fyre told her that she “couldn’t wait” to fill it with Christmas cards. That’s when Dolder, who has custody of Sa'fyre, posted a message to Facebook requesting for cards to be sent to a local post office.
“When the first card came in, it was like she won the lottery,” Dolder said. But she didn’t want Sa'fyre to get her hopes up, so she told her they would probably get “a few” more. Instead, dozens more came.
“This thing has taken a life of it’s own,” she said.
Firefighters found Sa'fyre next to her father, who used his body to shield her from the flames. It took Sa'fyre 10 months to recover from the fire in the hospital. Dolder credits Sa'fyre with helping her get over the death of her 18-year-old daughter, who died three years before the fire.
“She’s a living message to people that there’s hope, and no matter what you can get through anything,” Dolder said. “That’s why we share Sa'fyre with everyone.”
“She helped me move forward,” Dolder added. “I will never be able to repay her.”
She described Sa'fyre as spunky, a go-getter, and hilarious.
“She loves to dress up. She loves to feel pretty. She wants to be a pop star,” Dolder said, adding that she’s the “most popular girl at school.”
Dolder and her husband, Mike, have four children of their own and they're currently looking to buy a home in the Rottadam, New York, area for their extended family.
On Monday, the charity Baking Memories 4 Kids will present the family with a trip to Walt Disney World, which the Dolders will visit in February.
If you would like to send a Christmas card to Sa'fyre, address your card to:
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306