Twenty years ago, an 18-month old girl named Jessica McClure captured the nation's attention when she was trapped in a well behind her parents Texas home.
Sympathetic viewers were glued to their televisions as "Baby Jessica" was rescued after a 2 1/2 days. Strangers showered the family with teddy bears, homemade gifts, cards and cash. The money was placed in a trust fund which Jessica is to receive when she turns 25.
An Associated Press article today reports that Jessica is leading a quiet existence today - however that might all change in 3 1/2 years when all the donations sent to her when she was a baby mature into a payment of $1 million or more.
I found an article from 1997 on the ten year anniversary of the rescue - and it looks like the trust fund was valued at $1 million even then - so isn't it possible the money has significantly appreciated since then?
The story made me wonder, "Why was a trust fund set up?"
Her parents, Chip and Cissy McClure, have been described as poor teen-agers in 1987 struggling to make ends meet during the depths of the oil bust.
The McClures were also criticized for quickly spending at least $80,000 of the money sent to them. Much of it went toward a failed business. They divorced in 1990.So, I guess well wishing donors wanted to make sure the money actually got to Jessica, but setting up a trust fund that matures when she hits 25 seems to miss the point of donor intent.
Either way, if you sent money to Baby Jessica, rest assured knowing that in a little over 42 months from now, that money will reach its intended target.