Fact Check

Christmas Cards for Nick Waters

Send Christmas cards to Nick Waters?

Published Dec 23, 2004

Claim:   Nick Waters, a 15-year-old physically-challenged boy living in Georgia, wants 10,000 Christmas cards.

Status:   Outdated

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Hello All,
I am trying to help out a young boy who lives in Canton, Ga. with his Christmas Wish. Please allow me to explain, this past Sunday in Sunday School at First Baptist of Woodstock, GA a fellow class member asked
everyone to help out her friends little brother. He was born with no arms 13 years ago, and he has been in a wheelchair all of his life. His health has been getting bad towards the end of this year. Needless to say he has had a tough life so far. If he could have anything he wanted for Christmas, he replied, "I want a Christmas Miracle".

He wouldn't tell the family until the next day his sister kept bugging him and he finally told her that he wants 10,000 Christmas cards by Christmas. He doesn't want to tell anyone, because he wants it to be a miracle. So I am asking for your help!

Please send a card to the address at the bottom of the screen, and pass this along to anyone you know that will do the same. If we all pitch in and spend just a moment filling out this card, and saying a prayer for this young man, we can all be a blessing to him. What a small thing for us, but such a big thing for him! Thank you for you help, and have a blessed Christmas season,
Debbie Miller

Please send to:
Nick Waters
304 Meadows Point
Canton, Ga. 30115

Origins:   In December 2004 this curious request for Christmas cards began arriving in our inbox. Unlike many a "languishing child requests cards" entreaty, this one was on the up-and-up — there was such a child, and both his condition and request were as described.

Nick Waters was a 15-year-old boy who attended Dean Rusk Middle School in Canton, Georgia. (We know the e-mail said he was 13, but folks at his school said he was 15.)

Nick Waters

He had Holt-Oram Syndrome, an inherited disorder that results in abnormalities of the upper limbs and heart. In Nick's case, it caused him to come into this world almost armless. (Identifying him as "born without arms," as the e-mail does, isn't technically the truth but is its actuality — though he did have two very small limbs, they were not functional.) He was unable to speak and communicated through a computer using his feet.

The youngster's desire to receive 10,000 Christmas cards was indeed real, and was broadcast by at least a few radio stations, such as K98 Radio in Rome, GA.

However, although the request was genuine, the boy's goal has already been met ten times over. Quoting Nick's father, who penned this 27 December 2004 entry on the child's site:

The total that made it to him by Christmas day is 104,972!

Thank You!

By February 2006, young Nick had received more than 145,000 cards from around the world, which was the 10,000 Christmas greetings he was hoping for, and 135,000 more. The danger with such appeals is they don't magically end when the need is fulfilled. (To gain a better appreciation of how much havoc good intentions can wreak even when the appeal is valid, see the horrendous tale of what Craig Shergold and his family have endured thanks to that lad's years-ago request for cards. The Shergold family had to move because of the influx of well-intentioned mail — if that's not being killed with kindness, I don't know what is.)

Nick passed away at age 21 in March 2010, his 2004 appeal having garnered him an estimated total of 300,000 Christmas cards.

Barbara "muddied Waters" Mikkelson

Last updated:   19 March 2010


  Sources Sources:

    Harris, Donna.   "Hickory Flat Boy's Wish to Receive 10,000 Christmas Missives Fulfilled."

    Cherokee Tribune.   17 December 2004.

    Odum, Charles.   "Mother Thankful for Response to Son's Christmas Card Wish."

    Associated Press.   9 February 2005.

    Stevens, Alexis.   "Nick Waters, 21, Asked for Christmas Cards."

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution .   19 March 2010.

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