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Child Who Lost Everything in California Fire Holds Toy Drive for Needy Kids

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A uniquely compassionate seven-year-old girl has decided to run a toy drive for kids in need, despite losing her own home to the California wildfires.


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Will Maule

Sophia Novotny and her family lost everything when the lesser-known “Woolsey Fire” decimated their local area of Agoura Hills, just north of LA. “Very quickly she realized their things were gone,” said Sophia’s mom, April Novotny, according to ABC-7. But despite the utter shock and devastation, the remarkable youngster instantly bounced back and began to plan out how she could help other kids affected by the tragedy trough a toy drive.

“The day that we lost the house, she said, ‘Let’s get some toys for the other kids who have lost their house,’” April added. This past Sunday, the second-grader held the “Sophia’s Wishes” toy drive in Thousand Oaks, and it was a roaring success, with hundreds of toys distributed to local kids who, like Sophia, lost all their possessions in the fire.

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The event was made laid on in partnership with a local business, RadNet, and drew hundreds of eager visitors.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas shortly to follow, Sophia said that the sole aim of her drive was simply “to help other kids.”

“I know how it feels to lost [sic] your things,” she added.

“Thank you to everyone who took Sophia’s idea and ran with it!!!” April posted to Facebook following the event. “So many people came out to support, donate, and hug each other. These children want to help, and want to feel in control of something in this whirlwind we call life. She feels a little more in confident of her place in the world today.”

The Ventura County Fire Department also praised Sophia for her courage, bravery and compassion at what must be a very difficult time for her and her family.

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“Sophia Novotny is a 7-year-old who lost everything in the recent #Woolseyfire She was devastated but instead of crying she organized a toy drive for the other children who lost everything,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “Her event not only got toys to 4 families but also generated 1,000’s of toys for the spark of love toy drive. She is such an amazing young lady and we are proud to have been a part of something so special.”

Thankfully, as of Tuesday night, the Woolsey fire has been 98 percent contained. However, the damage to some 97,000 acres of land has been absolutely staggering. According to NASA, the scorched area is so vast that it can be seen from space.

The Woolsey fire has destroyed 1,500 and damaged 341, according to Cal Fire. The blaze has also caused the deaths of three people. Northern California’s “Camp Fire” still remains the most lethal. With 84 people dead, the inferno is the deadliest wildfire in California’s history. In addition, around 870 people still remain unaccounted for, as fire crews continue to battle against the flames. As of Tuesday, the fire was still only 75 percent contained.

(H/T: ABC-7)