Help Debbie Shwartz?
Date Added: Jan. 22, 2004
This chain letter sob story is a little more detailed than most, but still employs an old hoax plot that simply isn't possible.
I am a single mother of four kids: ages five, three and a half, 17 month, and two week old baby girl. God has blessed me with three beautiful, healthy children. Untill recently things were going great for us, even though we struggled financially at times (my part-time job was not enough to support us).
Then, the tragedy struck on January 13th. My oldest, Matt, got hit by a car while playing outside. ( The driver never got fined - it was a hit and run). After agonizingly long weeks of hospitalization, we did not think he would live but thank godness is he alive right now ... but barely. He is still in the hospital in the comatose condition. Doctors say he will be a vegetable for the rest of his live, for as long as he lives and even if he does come out of the coma - his brain is too damaged for him to lead a normal life. My insurance coverage run out and I can't afford hospital bills. Right now I own a hospital over 500,000 dollars so far.
Shortly, after the accident has happened, my 87 year old grandmother, with whom I was really close (she raised me as a child), suffered a stroke and could not live on her own anymore. I took her in.
All that happened while I was pregnant with Carissa. Because of all this severe stress that I've been through, Carissa was not only a premie but was born with Down's syndrome as well as chronic colitis. She is also missing fingernails on her right hand. She is in the hospital as well because she needs to be monitored 24/7. Right now I am at the lowest point of my life:
I don't have a job - taking care of three sick family members that are so dear to me is a full time job - I can't afford to pay for my tiny appartment, my car got taken away because no payment, not to mention the debt with a hospital!
I know you are not obligated to do anything: you are free to delete this email without giving it a second thought, but please listen to the cry from mothers heart! We had worked out a deal with AOL where for every 12 forwards I will get 15 cents. Please, don't harden your heart, send this email to everyone on your list. This is crucial for our survival!! God bless you all!
While this letter contains conspicuously more information than your typical run-of-the-mill "my kid is sick, please help" chain letters, it still lacks any information that would allow us to validate it - dates and location for starters.
Not that it matters, anyway. What this letter is promising is technologically impossible. AOL does not and will not make a charitable contribution contingent on strangers forwarding a chain letter. And even if they wanted to, there is no way they can track how many people receive it. No one is collecting signatures and there is no technology that could send such information back to AOL.
The urge to forward chains like this one is strong, especially when we believe that children's lives and livelihoods are at stake. These hoaxes tug at our heartstrings and pit our emotions against our common sense. Even when we doubt them, we pass them on "just in case." Besides, it doesn't cost anything and it can't hurt anything, can it?
Ever wonder why someone would start a chain like this? The most obvious reason is as a joke to humiliate those inexperienced enough to fall for it.
But there's another, somewhat more sinister, possibility. When you forward a chain letter, your e-mail address, and those of the people to which you send it, are attached to the message. Spammers and scammers often collect chain letters as a means to building their mailing lists.
So, this message (and others like it) do no good and could actually do harm. That's reason enough for me to break this chain!