Originally published in 2013, but updated annually.
Like many parents, I am always looking for ways to teach my children about giving back. It is so important to instill a passion for helping others beginning at a very young age. I am especially looking for great opportunities during the holiday season.
This year, since my 4-year old is writing (well sort of), I decided to introduce him to the Macy’s Believe program. Participating in this wonderful program will not only create excitement for the holidays; it will also teach him about helping others in need.
Here is how the Macy’s Make a Wish Foundation Believe Campaign program works:
- Children write a letter to Santa in the traditional way, or create and send their letter online at macys.com/believe, or use the new Macy’s Wish Writer stylus and app.
- Children bring their stamped letter addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” to the nearest Macy’s and place it in the the special letterbox.
- For every letter sent to Santa, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make a Wish Foundation up to $1,000,000.
- Please note, that Santa does not respond to the letters sent. (Of course, parents can get creative and write back as Santa.)
Some of you may be wondering what Make a Wish Foundation is. Here are a few facts about this amazing charity:
- It is one of the world’s leading children’s charities.
- It grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
- It often strengthens families.
- It creates happiness and inspiration for individuals everywhere.
- A wish is granted to someone in the United States every 38 minutes.
- More than 226, 000 wishes have been granted since the Make a Wish Foundation started in 1980.
Teachers, did you know that the Macy’s Make a Wish Foundation Believe Campaign can be easily incorporated into your lesson plans?
The Macy’s website provides a guide for educators and community leaders which helps schools become more involved. This guide is also great for parents and group leaders (i.e. boy scouts and girl scouts) to use at home or during meetings to help teach children about the program as well as develop various academic skills. It provides the following information:
- A fact sheet to distribute to students and parents.
- Activities to be implemented in the classroom such as a letter writing lesson, group work exercises and art projects.
- Various print outs such as letter and post card templates, make your own ornaments, finish the picture, connect the dots, a maze and a word search.
- The Yes, Virginia animated special is available on YouTube!
Looking for the perfect day to bring your child’s letter to Macy’s? I suggest going on December 8, 2017, which has been declared as National Believe Day!
It is important to share that children can send as many letters as they would like to Santa. The more letters, the more money raised and the more children who receive wishes!