By Maggie Deller
In the spirit of Christmas, Macy’s is hosting a fundraiser through Macy’s Believe program in which people can write a letter to Santa, and Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa submitted. Letters can be typed and submitted through Macy’s Believe website. Library Assistant Jane Ray’s daughter Emily Ray is volunteering with Make-A-Wish for this project through the University of New Hampshire’s Chi Omega philanthropy committee.
Letters can be submitted until Christmas Eve. “The only guideline for writing the letters is to tell Santa your Christmas wish,” philanthropy member Emily Ray said. “It can be as broad or as specific as you want and you can wish for anything you want, something you want to have, a place you want to go, someone you want to meet, really anything!”
Macy’s has raised over $100 million dollars for Make-A-Wish since 2003. “All the money raised directly benefits children aged 2 and a half to 18 with life threatening illnesses,” Ray said. “They grant a wish to every eligible child. There’s no waiting list and they never turn anyone who’s eligible down, which is really awesome.”
Macy’s Believe campaign began in 2003, and Make-A-Wish began in 1980. “Make-A-Wish started when a 7-year-old boy with leukemia wished to be a police officer and his entire community came together and made his wish come true,” Ray said. “He died four days after his wish was granted and from there his community was inspired to found Make-A-Wish.”
According to their website, Make-A-Wish makes a wish come true on average every 34 minutes, and since 1980 has granted over 300,000 wishes.
Ray said, “This program is really really important because kids impacted by life-threatening illnesses spend so much time in hospitals and doctors’ offices or connected to oxygen tanks and IVs and not enough time just being a kid and having fun.”
“Through my work with Make-A-Wish I’ve had the opportunity to attend a wish reveal party where we told a kid his wish was granted, and to see him so happy and excited was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced,” Ray said. “These wishes are so important and let the kids forget about chemo and surgeries even if it’s just for a day, and I can’t stress enough how important that is and how amazing it is to see them just being kids again.”
Anyone is welcome to write and submit a letter to Santa for Macy’s believe program. For every letter submitted, Macy’s Believe program will donate one dollar to Make-A-Wish Foundation.