NIPOMO, Calif. - [Updated 12/20/2017 6:00 p.m. PST]
A five-year-old Nipomo girl has turned $7 into more than $8,000, with the money raised going to help children of fallen firefighters.
Faye Segraves came up with the idea after hearing about the recent death of Cory Iverson, the San Diego area firefighter who died while battling the Thomas Fire last week.
"She said she wanted to put a bucket outside and she wanted a note on the bucket that said put money in this bucket that and my mommy will donate it to children who have lost their daddies on the fire to have extra Christmas presents," said Faye's mom Kylee Segraves.
The first donation for the fundraising effort came from Faye herself. It later went online and quickly gained momentum.
"$7 of chore money Faye had and she put it in the bucket and what we gathered as a family was $112 and that has turned into close to $8,000," said Kylee Segraves. "It's just incredible what everybody can do when we come together as a community."
Money raised will go directly to the Wildfire Firefighter Foundation Santa Fund.
"They distribute the money towards the firefighter's children from firefighters that are either injured, firefighters that have lost their lives or firefighters that are experiencing some sort of hardship and can't make Christmas come together for their family," said Kylee Segraves.
Segraves said the foundation has 84 children this year that will draw on the fund.
"Some of the children's family have died or they've been injured and they're no longer receiving money they're used to receiving," Kylee Segraves said.
For the Segraves family, the fundraiser is personal. Johnny Segraves, Faye's father, is a firefighter himself that just returned home after spending eight days at the Thomas Fire.
"It's been a very emotional fire for us as a fire family and it's been really good to turn it around and do good with it," Kylee Segraves said.
In just a few days, the fundraiser has now gained attention far beyond the Central Coast, with the story appearing in several nationl news outlets.
"HLN, CNN, ABC, New York Times, a lot of people are wanting to share the story," Kylee Segraves said. "It's great to have good news spreading around in a time where we have so much stressful news and bad news."
Faye's mom adds the whole experience has been a wonderful lesson for her young daughter.
"I am incredibly proud," said Kylee Segraves. "I am blown away by the response by everyone has had to her. I'm just brought to tears by how much she's been able to do and how much she is doing and people she's supporting and they're also supporting their dream."
She adds the family hopes they soar far beyond the current goal of $10,000.
"We'll just keep going as far as we can," said Kylee Segraves. "We just want to bring light to this wonderful organization."
To donate to the Faye's fundraiser, visit Faye's Fundraiser for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
A little girl from Nipomo is determined to raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation after hearing of the death of Cal Fire Engineer Cory Iverson while battling the Thomas Fire.
5-year-old Faye Segraves, the daughter of a firefighter herself, kicked off the fundraising campaign by contributing her own money, which her mother stated she collected for doing different chores.
In a video posted to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation's Facebook page, 5-year-old Faye is seen sitting behind the $112 that she raised to go to those "who have lost their daddies on the fire."
Faye had been saving up for a toy she really wanted, according to her mother, but decided, "It is more important for them [firefighter affected families] to get toys to make them a little happier on Christmas."
Along with photos of Faye, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation's Facebook page also included a link to Faye's fundraising page. The 5-year-old was only wanting to raise $1,000 but as of Tuesday evening, Faye had raised approximately $4,000.
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation helps families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and assists injured firefighters and their family, according to their website's mission statement.
Iverson, 32, died on Dec. 14, 2017, from thermal injuries and smoke inhalation while fighting the Thomas Fire on its eastern flank near Fillmore in Ventura County.
Faye's father is currently battling the Thomas Fire himself and "will likely miss Christmas this year," Faye's mother said on Facebook.