July 19, 2019 | 93° F

Rutgers Sigma Chi fraternity delivers Christmas cards to young arson victim

Photo by Edwin Gano and Edwin Gano |

Rutgers’ Sigma Chi fraternity have been stocking up on crayons, construction paper and glue for their Monday night event, in which students crafted hundreds of Christmas cards for young arson victim Safyre Terry.

Three years ago, Terry was badly burned in a house fire when she was 5 years old, according to TODAY Parents. Her father and three younger siblings died in the fire.

“Safyre suffered burns over 75 percent of her body, causing her to lose her left foot and right hand, and requiring a 9-month stay in hospitals, where she underwent more than 50 surgeries to graft skin over her burns,” according to TODAY Parents.

Now 8 years old, Terry’s holiday wish of filling her metal Christmas tree with cards went viral. About two weeks ago, a family friend, Kevin Clark, posted a photo on Facebook asking people to deliver cards to their address to help fulfill Terry’s wish.

And Rutgers’ Sigma Chi was among those from across the country who responded.

About 200 students were expected to bring their card-making talents to the table at the event, titled “Christmas Cards for Safyre with Sigma Chi.”

Myles Sepulveda, a Rutgers Business School junior, learned about Terry’s situation through news reports on the Internet. He and his fraternity brothers began organizing the event on Thursday.

“My roommate Dan showed me the news articles about this girl from New York who got badly burned and lost her family in a fire,” he said. “We thought we should do something about it, so we put together this event.”

The event serves a good purpose, especially during finals week, Sepulveda said

“It’s a good thing during finals, to take a break and get everybody’s heads off all of the craziness of exams,” he said.

The fraternity is also fundraising money in order to buy Terry a Toys "R" Us gift card, said Reid Riccordella, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.

Riccordella said he hopes the cards and gift “puts a smile on (Terry’s) face.”

“(The event) reminds you of how fortunate we are,” Sepulveda said. “This girl has seen a lot more than many of us can imagine at such a young age.”

Avalon Zoppo

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