Local girl goes viral, receives more than 1M holiday cards


When firefighters pulled Sa’fyre Terry’s father from the ashes, she was underneath him — buried in his arms but still alive.

Local Schenectady resident, Sa’fyre Terry, 8, lost her father, sister and two brothers when it is believed arsonists set their home ablaze two years ago. She suffered burns on 75 percent of her body, lost two limbs and, after undergoing numerous surgeries, is now in the care of her paternal aunt, Liz Terry-Dolder, in Rotterdam, N.Y.

This year, Sa’fyre’s Christmas wish was to fill her card tree with Christmas cards.

Her aunt told Sa’fyre that they might get a few cards, but did not expect Sa’fyre’s Christmas wish to go viral the way it did.

On Dec. 4, family friend Kevin Clark posted a picture of Sa’fyre on his Facebook page, sharing her post office box address and asking that people send her cards and gifts.

The Associated Press reports that she received more than a million cards and gifts from people all over the world, including singers like Katy Perry, Michael Buble and Beyonce, as well as professional athletes, who sent cards and autographed merchandise. She also received a card from the White House.

Sa’fyre opened hundreds of gifts that included teddy bears, stuffed kittens, handmade jewelry and books and cards signed by entire classrooms of children

Her aunt, recalling the arson said, “She even lost the one thing we all take for granted — her reflection. But she wakes every morning with a smile on her face now. She is the true definition of hope, faith and love.”

According to Schenectady’s Daily Gazette, Sa’fyre donated some of the gifts and gift cards she received over the holiday season to two local women’s shelters, Unity House in Troy and Schenectady’s Salvation Army’s Evangeline Booth Miracle Home in Schenectady. Unity House currently houses 19 women and 14 children, while the Evangeline Booth Miracle Home has beds for 15 women and six children.

Post office employees and volunteers delivered the cards and gifts to Sa’fyre’s home in postal trucks and tractor trailers, according to a piece on her story written by the Associated Press.

The Associated Press is not the only major news media outlet to report on Sa’fyre — the New York Times ran a piece on her, online and in print, in mid-December.


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