Schenectady’s Super Survivor Safyre Terry surpasses 1 million letters, packages

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Letter openers are wanted as a warehouse in Rotterdam is piled high with mail for Schenectady’s Super Survivor.

Sa’fyre Terry was the only survivor of a 2013 arson on Hulett Street in Schenectady. In December 2015, she asked for Christmas cards to fill a card tree.

And the world responded.

Currently, Safyre has received approximately 1.7 million cards and packages containing love and encouragement from around the world. She even received gifts from the First Family and her favorite singer, Katy Perry.

The mail is held in a warehouse in Rotterdam where volunteers known as Safyre’s Angels have been sorting through all the cards and packages. Each tray of letters contains about 450 cards.

The volunteers open each card one-by-one. The front is ripped off to be reused as cards for U.S. service members.

Kimberly Bradford is a member of Safyre’s Angels. She has sat in the warehouse every day for the past six weeks to open cards, read the cards, and track down some of the senders.

“And we just opened it, and I wanted to personally call and thank you for taking the time to think of her,” she told one card giver.

The experience has been so profound, it has changed the way Bradford looks at the world.

“It restored my faith in humanity in such a terrible time in the world with everything that’s going on,” she said. “Just to see the outpouring of love from around the world from one little girl.

Michael Cseh is the operations manager at the warehouse. He’s seen some amazing pieces of mail coming from Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and even the New York Jets.

But no matter who it’s from, Cseh said each card is special.

“The stories about Safyre and how she’s inspired other people, we want people to know that not only did she touch you, but you touched her,” he said.

On Wednesday, behind a podium made up of 8,000 letters, came a call for help – not just for volunteers but for answers in the arson that claimed so many lives.

“That’s why her Aunt Liz asked us to again plea to the public for any answers that can help us get justice for this heinous crime,” former NEWS10 ABC anchor Mark Baker said.

Safyre and her family wasn’t at the warehouse on Wednesday because she had a doctor’s appointment in Boston.

Safyre’s Angels is asking for more volunteers:

“We will resume with opening Safyre’s mail starting at 10 a.m. each day M-F this week. We usually stay until 8 or even 9 p.m. on weekdays. We’ll have another set of 10 to 5’s on Saturday and Sunday 1/16 and 1/17. All are welcome to join us at 695 Rotterdam Industrial Park Rotterdam NY building 3 bay 6.”

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