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Young Burn Victim's Simple Christmas Wish Comes True


The holidays are the busiest time of year for post offices around the country. In Schenectady, N.Y., it is even busier than most years because of one special girl.

JOHN REILLY: The first day, we got more than a hundred cards and many parcels.

SHAPIRO: That's the local postmaster, John Reilly. He's talking about Safyre Terry. The 8-year-old lost her family two years ago when somebody set fire to their home. She was severely burned and has been in and out of hospitals since. For Christmas, she wanted 100 holiday cards. Last week, her aunt put the request on Facebook hoping to make Safyre's wish come true. Reilly says the response has overwhelmed the local post office.

REILLY: Last night, we even - we had a police escort up to the residence because there's been so much of an outpouring of cards and letters and packages that the post office, we just couldn't keep it there for them to pick up so we decided we were just going to load up our vehicles with the letters and parcels and deliver it to her ourselves.

SHAPIRO: They filled up two of the post office's biggest trucks each night to deliver the cards that have been flooding in.

REILLY: The outpouring of love from all over the country and now all over the world is just - it's just overwhelming.

SHAPIRO: More than 50 friends, relatives and local volunteers are helping to sort it all. Christine Delgallo, a family friend, also started a fund-raising campaign to help pay for Safyre's ongoing medical treatment and care.

CHRISTINE DELGALLO: I think what's absolutely most important is just giving her the stability to know that there are a lot of people that love her, you know, we can never take away that painful night, and that we will be there to hold her hand every step of the way.

SHAPIRO: The fundraising campaign is nearing in on $390,000. At the post office, Reilly says they have gotten more than 495,000 letters, 10,000 packages - all for this little girl.

SAFYRE TERRY: I got all of these cards on a Christmas tree. I don't think we can put some more on it. Thank you.

SHAPIRO: Eight-year-old Safyre Terry. Her postmaster says the cards just keep on coming. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.