Department store teams up with Santa to make a wish for children with life-threatening conditions

Monday, November 10, 2008

That letter to Santa Claus could make Christmas extra special for hundreds of children with life-threatening conditions, thanks to the efforts of one department store.

For each letter dropped off in its stores throughout the United States, Macy's will donate $1 -- up to $1 million -- to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The department store unveiled the Believe campaign, based on a 1897 New York Sun editorial. Believe stations featuring a letter-writing station and official R.H. Macy Santa Mail letter box will be placed in every store.

The Believe campaign was taken from a letter to the editor written by eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon in 1897 asking the New York Sun if Santa Claus existed. The newspaper responded with its famous line "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

The television advertising campaign will feature such celebrities as Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump and Carlos Santana. A website, www.macys.com/believe will feature the Virginia O'Hanlon story, a downloadable letter kit complete with official Santa letterhead and an application that allows users to design their own Santa Claus.

"We are so excited to launch this inspirational Christmas campaign," Peter Sachse, president of Macy's corporate marketing, said in a press release. "Believe is the articulation of everything we treasure about the holiday season, and is an authentic celebration of the Christmas spirit."

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