A Facebook message requesting Christmas cards for 8-year-old burn victim Safyre Terry is legit.
Collected via Email, December 2015
Christmas may be a time for giving, but it’s also a time for scams. Internet swindlers attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holiday season with a variety of schemes. This is probably why some people looked at a request for Christmas cards for an 8-year-old burn victim named Safyre Terry with a skeptical eye.
The request was originally posted to Facebook by Kevin “Snapshot” Clark on 4 December 2015:
Facebook users who were skeptical about Clark’s request must have been a little extra wary when the account disappeared for a few hours on 8 December 2015. But this was not the result of any fraudulent activity:
Last night Facebook shut my page down 6 hours… probably because of all the Safyre stuff (I was getting 50/minute friend requests! )… anyways, I made a new page BUT now don’t need it. Ignore it. Today after I nap from working all night I’m meeting Liz Terry-Dolder and Safyre after she gets outta school at her PO BOX so we can all check her mail TOGETHER! *AND A REPORTER /PHOTOGRAPHER FROM THE SCHENECTADY GAZETTE WILL BE THERE TOO! PSYCHED!!!
The influx of activity on Clark’s page was likely due to Hulk Hogan’s sudden involvement in the project. On 8 December 2015, the wrestler shared Clark’s message with his loyal “maniacs”:
Alright maniacs let’s make Safyre’s Christmas Dream come true! All she wants is Christmas Cards from around the world, but a little extra Christmas magic wouldn’t hurt!
The outpouring of support for Safyre Terry has been covered by multiple TV stations and news publications. And while a fundraising page has been set up to cover medical bills (an aspect that occasionally sets off the scam alert) this is a legitimate attempt to raise money for a young girl who suffered through a terrible ordeal.
On 2 May 2013, Terry survived a fire that killed her father and three siblings:
Elizabeth Dolder never imagined Safyre Terry’s stubborn ways might one day serve the girl well in her battle to stay alive.
“She was a stubborn child, but that stubbornness is helping her through this,” Dolder said of her niece. “She’s going to get through this. I can’t lose her, too.”
The 5-year-old girl, the only child to survive a ferocious house fire in Schenectady during the early morning hours of May 2 that claimed the lives of three of her siblings and her father, remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns to her tiny body.
On 9 December 2015 Dodler, Terry’s sole guardian, sent a thank you message out to all of the people who sent Christmas cards and donations:
BELIEVE BELIEVE BELIEVE She did. When she said she can’t wait to fill up the card tree my response was I don’t think it’s gonna get filled up but I am sure we will get a few more cards. She BELIEVED and ALL of YOU are making it happen. THANK YOU…..FAITH LOVE HOPE TO ALL
Subsequent reports showed huge piles of letters and cards:
On 15 December 2015, a nonprofit organization called Baking Memories 4 Kids, which uses funds from cookies they sell to send children with life-threatening conditions on free vacations with their families, surprised Safyre with a trip to Walt Disney World.