This Season, Macy’s And Make-A-Wish Celebrate $100 Million Raised Over 13 Years
Macy’s Ninth Annual Believe Campaign launches this past week with the return of its cherished letter writing program to benefit Make-A-Wish. From the beginning of November through Dec. 24, customers can visit their local Macy’s store to drop their letters to Santa into the big red letterboxes or send online at macys.com/believe.
Nearly 120 years ago, 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper, asking if there really was a Santa Claus. Editor Francis P. Church penned the heartwarming response that famously began, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …” which became one of the most celebrated newspaper editorials in history. Inspired by the true story of Virginia, the Believe Campaign encourages acts of kindness and goodwill during the holidays, celebrating the season of giving through the time-honored tradition of letter writing.
For each letter collected in-store and online, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, the national organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. In addition to letter writing, this year’s campaign will bring back the beloved National Believe Day on December 9.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 28,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 35 minutes. It has granted more than 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,800 in 2015 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.
“This is an incredibly important milestone for any organization, and we are proud to be celebrating it with Make-A-Wish as part of this year’s Believe campaign,” said Holly Thomas, group vice president of Cause Marketing for Macy’s. “Our program has touched the lives of our customers, employees, and most importantly, the lives of wish kids and their families across the country. We hope to provide even more support to Make-A-Wish this holiday season through our letter writing campaign, so they can continue their mission and meet the growing need of wishes across the country.”
The season also marks a major milestone, as Macy’s will celebrate $100 million in total giving to Make-A-Wish since 2003, with nearly $13 million donated through the Believe campaign. That represents nearly three wishes granted every day for the past 13 years, and more than 2.4 million people impacted in total by wishes that Macy’s has helped to grant, including wish kids and their families, volunteers, community groups, nurses, doctors and more.
“We are honored and humbled by our friends at Macy’s and their customers who have raised an incredible $100 million to help grant life-changing wishes to children with serious illnesses,” said David Williams, chief executive officer for Make-A-Wish America. “But our work is not done. Each year, nearly 27,000 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Make-A-Wish aims to grant the wish of every eligible child, so that they can experience the joy of a wish come true.”
National Believe Day
The Eighth Annual National Believe Day will take place on Friday, December 9. A day dedicated to celebrating wish kids around the country, Macy’s and Make-A-Wish will continue the tradition of “Wishes Across America,” and fans of the “Yes, Virginia” animated film can view the beloved holiday program online at youtube.com/macys. The award-winning, half-hour holiday special features former wish child Taylor Hay, who had her wish granted when her voice was captured for one of the film’s characters, alongside an all-star cast including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina and Beatrice Miller in the title role.
Believe Merchandise Benefitting Make-A-Wish
Along with writing letters to Santa, customers can give back to Make-A-Wish by purchasing gifts that give back, including the “Yes, Virginia” illustrated storybook and animated special DVD, available at Macy’s stores and on macys.com. Ten percent of the purchase price of each book and DVD sold at Macy’s will be donated to Make-A-Wish from now through Dec. 31.
To learn more about Macy’s Believe campaign, visit macys.com/believe.