Girl Who Lost Family in Fire Receives 195,000 Christmas Cards and Letters in a Day
Sa'fyre Terry said the "only thing" she wanted for Christmas was cards.
— -- In 2013, Sa’fyre Terry lost her father and three younger siblings in an arson fire which also left her with burns over 75 percent of her body and claimed her right hand and left foot.
The now 8-year-old told told her family the only present she wanted for Christmas was cards and that she “couldn’t wait” to fill up a thrift store Christmas tree stand with them.
Her aunt, Liz Dolder, didn’t want to get her hopes up, so she simply replied that they might “get a few.”
Hundreds of thousands of cards, letters and packages later, little Sa’fyre has experienced a true Christmas miracle, fueled by social media and made possible by the kindness and generosity of those affected by her story.
“’Wow’ is the general reaction in my family,” Dolder told ABC News today, adding that the cards and gifts are arriving from all over the world.
"[We] never thought something like this was possible," she said.
Dolder mentioned a 5-year-old boy in Hong Kong who sent Sa’fyre his favorite teddy bear with a note that said “Let’s be friends.” The family will be sending the teddy bear back to him along with a “friend” so the bear doesn’t get “lonely” on the long trip.
Just today, Sa’fyre received about 195,000 letters and cards and more than 3,000 packages, Schenectady Post Master John Reilly told ABC News. It took two 2-ton mail trucks and a rented cargo truck to deliver the mail to the family, he said.
“This morning was just an unbelievable day,” he said. “We got the most mail we’ve ever gotten for a single person in Schenectady.”
In total, Sa’fyre has received more than 300,000 letters, Reilly said, adding that Schnectady’s main post office is now handling the mail, since the P.O. box the family rented is located inside a small branch in the Rotterdam Square Mall.
“It’s really wonderful, the outpouring of love for this family and this little girl,” Reilly said.
Volunteers are helping Sa’fyre and the Dolder family open the influx of cards and packages they’ve received, Dolder said, calling the community “amazing.”
"It’s like everyone’s come together for Sa’fyre," she said.
Dolder said the only word Sa’fyre can muster when she sees the new pile of cards every day is, “What?”
“She can’t believe it,” Dolder said. “She’s such a humble little girl, too. She really is.”
The family plans to lie the cards out on their lawn and will take a photo with an aerial drone as a “thank you” to everyone who sent one.
“To hear a number is one thing, but you really need to see how many cards there are to understand,” Dolder said.
Today, the charity Baking Memories 4 Kids will present Sa’fyre, Dolder, her husband, Mike, and their four children with a trip to Walt Disney World, which the family will take in February. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.
Until then, Sa’fyre will have plenty to keep her busy as she opens the thousands of cards that are sure to arrive in the coming days.
If you would like to send a Christmas card to Sa'fyre, address your card to:
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306