Girl who lost family in blaze and wished for Christmas cards plans to share

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. - An 8-year-old girl who lost her father and younger siblings in an arson fire that left her severely scarred is sharing the good cheer that has been bestowed on her, by the tractor-trailer load, since her simple Christmas wish went viral.

See Full Article

Safyre Terry, of Rotterdam, New York, has received more than a million cards from around the world, including a personal message from the White House, since a family friend shared a Facebook post with the little girl's wish for cards to fill a display tree. The non-profit Baking Memories 4 Kids is sending Safyre to the Disney theme parks in Florida in March, and more than $400,000 has been donated through a crowdfunding website.

Over the holidays, Safyre and some of the volunteers who have been helping her since the devastating fire two years ago plan to visit shelters in the Albany area to distribute some of the gifts Safyre has received, as well as some new ones to children who are homeless or victims of domestic violence, said Liz Dolder, the girl's aunt. She said they'll also take gifts to Boston's Shriners Hospital, where Safyre receives ongoing treatment.

"We want other children to feel the joy that Safyre feels," said Dolder, sister of David Terry, who died shielding his oldest daughter from the flames and heat that killed her three younger siblings in 2013.

In a video posted Tuesday on a Facebook page chronicling her long recovery from the fire that disfigured her face and took a hand and a foot, Safyre triumphantly lifts a cup with a 3D-printed prosthetic hand made for her by students at the University at Albany. Dolder asks, "Who can do it?" and Safyre shouts, "I can!"

It's a frequent call and response between Dolder and her niece, a spunky girl with a ponytail and glitter-spangled sneakers who shows no trace of self-consciousness about her scars and tracheal tube as she greets well-wishers at holiday events organized by police and motorcycle clubs in her honour.

Dolder, a stay-at-home mom who cares for Safyre, as well as her own 8-year-old twins, said more than a million cards and thousands of packages have arrived at the family's home on a rural road 15 miles west of Albany. For the past week and a half, more than two dozen volunteers have been unloading cards and gifts from postal trucks and tractor-trailers, stacking them in a barn, and helping the family open them.

"Even with all the volunteers, we haven't even brushed the surface," Dolder said.

Dolder acknowledges gifts in photos on the Facebook page, "Safyre Schenectady's Super Survivor." They include a yen-filled card from Japan, a stuffed koala and boomerang from Australia, anime toys from France, German newspaper clippings of Safyre's story, framed calligraphy from China, and countless cards, many handmade by children, from every U.S. state and many distant lands.

While she's thrilled with all the gifts, Safyre plans to give many away, Dolder said.

"She's a very big sharer," she said. "She's just very kind and generous and sweet."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Donald Trump says 'rocket man' Kim Jong-un is 'on a suicide mission'

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that the United States will be forced to "totally destroy" North Korea unless Pyongyang backs down from its nuclear standoff, mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission. Source
  • 'Outrageous' U.S. Navy workers removed for flipping off 'mini Satan' babies at hospital

    World News Toronto Sun
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, “How I currently feel about these mini Satans. Source
  • Equifax says personal data of 100,000 Canadians may have been exposed in hack

    Canada News CBC News
    Equifax Canada said a massive cybersecurity breach at the company may have exposed the personal information of about 100,000 Canadian consumers. Equifax is a consumer information company that provides, among other services, credit information and credit ratings on individuals. Source
  • Google funds teaching Canadian students to spot fake news

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - A planned classroom program aims to teach elementary and high school students in Canada how to detect fake news. The program called NewsWise will try to enhance general news literacy among students aged nine to 19. Source
  • 'Way too early'?: Backlash as eggnog, Christmas décor appear in stores

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadians are pushing back against “holiday creep,” after eggnog and Christmas decorations started appearing on grocery store and retail shelves this week. “It’s way too early,” shopper Jeremy Vandenbon told CTV Calgary, after spotting eggnog for sale at Safeway. Source
  • Montreal luxury real estate market heating up, but Toronto and Vancouver will warm again soon, Sotheby's says

    Canada News CBC News
    Montreal is emerging as a luxury real estate "hot spot," while Vancouver and Toronto sales should pick up this fall after somewhat sluggish times, according to a new report. Sotheby's International Realty Canada's rosy outlook comes despite a slew of policy changes, including some from Ottawa and a couple provincial governments designed to cool the country's hot housing markets. Source
  • Syracuse police station shot at dozens of times since June

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A police station in Syracuse has been hit by gunfire more than three dozen times since opening in June, but officials say no one has been injured. The Post-Standard reports that about 40 bullet marks dot the shatterproof windows at the Syracuse Police Department substation at Skiddy Park on the city’s west side. Source
  • Trudeau news conference before UN visit LIVE

    Canada News CBC News
    Couple denied co-op over sex of baby, they say 2:17 A Vancouver couple believe they were denied a unit in a co-op housing complex because their baby is a girl and not a boy Source
  • Body found in airport parking lot was there for eight months

    World News Toronto Sun
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man’s body sat undiscovered for eight months in his pickup truck in a Kansas City International Airport parking lot and his family wants answers. The Kansas City Star reports that the body of 53-year-old Randy Potter was found last week after someone reported a bad smell coming from the truck. Source
  • No doubt that neonicotinoids are killing birds, bees, scientists say

    Canada News CBC News
    A group of international scientists meets today to try to convince parliamentarians there is no longer any doubt that common agricultural pesticides are toxic chemicals which are killing off honey bees. In fact, says Jean-Marc Bonmatin of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, neonicotinoid pesticides kill a lot more than just bees, posing a deadly risk to frogs, common birds, fish and earthworms. Source