(1/14/2003) This new twist on the "For The Kids" chain letter uses a nationwide tragedy to dupe even more well-meaning e-mailers.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Hi, I'm sorry about this fwd.
My name is Jasmine . I'm 11 years old. My mommy worked on the 20th floor in the World Trade Tower. On Sept. 11 2001 my daddy drove my mom to work. She was running late so she left her purse in the car. My daddy seen it so he parked the car and went to give her the purse. That day after school my daddy didnt come to pick me up. Instead a police man came and took me to foster care . Finally I found out why my daddy never came.. I really loved him.... They never found his body.. My mom is in the the Hospital since then.. She is losing lots of blood.. She needs to go through surgery.. But since my daddy is gone and no one is working.. We have no money .. And her surgery cost lots of money.. So the Red Cross said that.. for every time this email is fwd we Will get 10 cent for my mom's surgery. So please have a heart and fwd this to everyone you know I really miss my daddy and now I dont want to lose my mommy too.. R.I.P. Daddy..(James Thomas) !--! NOTICE!--! WHEN YOU FWD PLEASE ALSO FWD TO THIS LETTER BACK TO ME... AT.... jasNmom2001@yahoo.com ...SO THAT THE REDCROSS PEOPLE CAN COUNT THE FWDS.
thank you for taking your time to fwd this email this really means alot me and my future.. love, Jasmine
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Later versions start to drop details like the e-mail address and change the girl's name to "Ali."
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Subject: Fwd: World Trade Centers(DONT DELETE!!!!!!)
I'm 11 years old. My mommy worked on the 20th floor in the World Trade Tower. On Sept. 11 2001 my daddy drove my mom to work. She was running late so she left her purse in the car. My daddy seen it so he parked the car and went to give her the purse. That day after school my daddy didn't come to pick me up. Instead a police man came and took me to foster care. Finally I found out why my daddy never came. I really loved him.... They never found his body. My mom is in the the Hospital since then. She is losing lots of blood. She needs to go through surgery. But since my daddy is gone and no one is working, We have no money. And her surgery cost lots of money. So the Red Cross said that for every time this email is fwd we Will get 10 cent for my mom's surgery. So please have a heart and fwd this to everyone you know. I really miss my daddy and now I don't want to lose my mommy too. R.I.P. Daddy..(James Thomas)
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
This hoax is different from other kid in need chain letters only because its current events tie-in appeals to a broader audience. But, it's still a hoax. Here are the facts:
The American Red Cross does not make their support contingent on strangers forwarding an e-mail message. Even if they did, they would not use a free Yahoo! Mail account to collect 'signatures.'
E-mail to jasNmom2001@yahoo.com (cited in earlier versions) bounces as "undeliverable."
There is no James Thomas on the official list of WTC victims.
If Jasmine's mother were injured and her father killed in the tragedy, her family would qualify for disaster relief that would pay their medical bills - with no strings attached.
Jasmine's mom must be a hearty individual to still be alive after "losing lots of blood" for more than a year.
It's always amusing to see forwarders who apologize for sending a chain letter, but do it anyway. The desire to help a child in need is often very strong, and capable of overpowering common sense, even though all signs indicate a hoax. Let's face it, we'd feel terrible if we later found out it was true and we didn't help. What can it hurt, right?
Well, it can hurt. When organizations like the Red Cross get associated with chain letters like this, they often have to divert valuable time and manpower to handle inquiries instead of helping real people with real needs. In a statement on their web site, the American Red Cross asks you to disregard e-mail chain letters using their name:
"The American Red Cross is aware that false e-mail hoaxes purportedly involving or benefiting the Red Cross are circulating, particularly in the form of "chain letter" e-mails. Typically, the authors of such e-mails claim to be victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and promise that the American Red Cross will make a financial contribution on the recipientís behalf each time the e-mail is forwarded. These e-mails are fraudulent. The American Red Cross does not use, authorize or condone such chain letter e-mails for fundraising or for any other purpose. If you receive these types of communications, please disregard them and forward the e-mail in question to Tish Mokrzycki in Online Fund Raising at firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Red Cross works very hard to stop such fraudulent activity Thank you."
Propagating a hoax can hurt, no matter how pure your intentions may be. Break this Chain!