Single Dad and 3-Year-Old Son Who Lost Everything in Fire Are Healing Thanks to Power of Play

Playing Father and Son Who Lost Everything in California Fire Given Toys to Help Heal

When a single dad's home burned down in last year's Woolsey Fire in California, he and his son lost everything.

"We just took a backpack and got out," said Jared Tavasolian, dad to 3-year-old Jaiden.

Afterward, the Malibu Lake neighborhood looked like a "war zone," said Tavasolian. "It was really crazy because one day life is normal ... and then you come back and literally everything I own is gone."

That included Jaiden's toys — all of them.

"For weeks afterward ... he's asking for a toy and you're like, 'Oh yeah, oh that's gone.'"

But then Jaiden got a special surprise from Little Tikes as part of its "Project Play Big!" series on YouTube. Check out the sweet moment host Brett Tutor dropped in to pay the family a visit earlier this year while they were living in temporary housing in Agoura Hills.

"Little Tikes was incredible," Tavasolian said. "Having them show up and surprise us like that. And creating that experience for Jaiden to come out and see all the toys that were there for him."

InsideEdition.com recently caught up with Tavasolian and Jaiden at their new home in Agoura Hills to learn about how the toy delivery has helped them as they get back on their feet. 

Jaiden loved the toys, particularly the slide and the trampoline, and seeing him happy brought a smile to his dad's face. 

"I see my son playing, then it makes me not be so serious," said Tavasolian. "And so just the boost that that gives for not only him, but for everyone around was really special."

The toys gave the family something to focus on other than the loss of everything they owned.

"It's been a really big part of our healing process to be able to play and have that imagination and go into other lands and other stories, you know?" Tavasolian said. 

Now, the father and son duo are finding stability again, taking pleasure in the little instances of play in between.

"We just take every moment we can to go and play and have fun," Tavasolian said.

Little Tikes is on tour this month and is encouraging families around the country to Play Big in their neighborhoods. Go to LittleTikes.com to get tour stop locations, find Tikes Play Tips, learn about products and retailer promotions — and more.

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