The holidays are a time for giving, and Macy’s is again offering its customers a chance to unite in the season’s spirit of generosity through its annual Believe campaign benefiting Make-A-Wish.
Starting now, kids of all ages can drop their stamped letters, addressed to Santa at The North Pole, in the Santa Mail letterbox at their local Macy’s. For each letter received through Dec. 24, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Now celebrating its sixth season, Believe has become Macy’s signature holiday program, garnering support and participation from customers from coast-to-coast and resulting in more than $6.5 million in donations to Make-A-Wish. New this season, customers who share a photo or video of their moment mailing a letter to Santa at Macy’s Believe Station to Instagram, Twitter or Vine using #MacysBelieve will be considered for the opportunity to be in a Macy’s television commercial airing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In addition, “Believers” can join in the spirit of the holidays through other Believe elements, including a school musical program, a nationally televised animated special, activity guides for teachers and the return of the fifth annual National Believe Day.
The inspiration for Macy’s Believe campaign was the heartwarming true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The paper’s editor, Francis P. Church, responded with what has become the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the English language stating, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …” More than 115 years after that famous essay was penned, Church’s words still resonate and remind us all to believe in the power of childhood wonder, hope and generosity – cornerstones of the Believe campaign.
Fun Events for the Macy’s Believe campaign will include:
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#MacysBelieve Television Commercial: Now through Dec. 7, Macy’s is inviting all “Believers” to share a photo or video of the special moment they mail their letter in Macy’s Santa Mail letterbox in-store via Instagram, Twitter or Vine. By including #MacysBelieve, posts will be considered for inclusion in a national, crowd-sourced television commercial airing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The selected elements will be edited into a video montage that will feature magical moments from customers across the country.
“Yes, Virginia The Musical”: “Yes, Virginia The Musical” will return to stages this holiday season with more than 100 performances taking place across the country. Audiences will be taken on an adventure as Virginia and her friends set out to prove Santa really does exist. In support of arts and music education, Macy’s created a digital toolkit with helpful reference material, provided the script and score royalty-free and offered $1,000 grants to 100 schools to support their productions. “Yes, Virginia The Musical” debuted last year and was warmly embraced by communities nationwide, with many participating schools giving back by encouraging their audiences to participate in the Believe letter-writing campaign. Grant recipient schools put their funds to use to purchase everything from costumes and set materials to sound and lighting equipment. For more information about “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” please visit yesvirginiamusical.com.
National Believe Day: Friday, Dec. 6 will mark the fifth anniversary of National Believe Day, a highpoint of the Believe campaign. On this exciting day, Macy’s will call all “Believers” to action in celebration of the holiday season’s message of generosity and goodwill. Additional details about National Believe Day will be released as the day approaches.
“Yes, Virginia” Animated Special: The award-winning “Yes, Virginia” animated holiday television special will return this year featuring an all-star cast of voices that includes Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina, and Beatrice Miller in the title role. The half-hour holiday program, which debuted in 2009, helped a special wish come true for then 11-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Taylor Hay, whose voice and likeness were captured for one of the characters. “Yes, Virginia,” presented by Macy’s, will air on CBS on National Believe Day, Friday, Dec. 6, at 8:30 p.m. ET (check local listings).
“Yes, Virginia in Concert”: This holiday season, “Yes, Virginia in Concert” will receive its world premiere on Dec. 14, 2013, in a performance by the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Written by Emmy Award-winning songwriters Wesley Whatley and William Schermerhorn, the family-friendly performance is presented by Macy’s and will feature John Morris Russell conducting the Pops along with singers and actors in a semi-staged adaptation of the heartwarming story.
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