NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Dec. 14, Macy’s (NYSE:M) will celebrate a season filled with goodwill and generosity during the retailer’s fourth annual National Believe Day. Born from the beloved Macy’s Believe campaign, National Believe Day aims to inspire Americans across the nation to spread the spirit of kindness and philanthropy during the holiday season. To commemorate this year’s National Believe Day, Macy’s and Make-A-Wish will grant more than 60 “Wishes Across America” for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Macy’s will also offer a Double Donation, giving an extra $1, up to $500,000, for every letter dropped off to Santa in Macy’s Santa Mail letterboxes on Dec. 14. In addition to dropping off a letter, those who want to inspire others by sharing their stories of goodwill can use the hash-tag #MacysBelieve to spread the word.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …”
“Macy’s National Believe Day continues to inspire our customers to act in generous and compassionate ways,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “It's an opportunity for each individual to give back to their community and for families to partake in the season's spirit of generosity through the simple and beloved holiday tradition of writing a letter to Santa. Our goal is to create generations of customers who believe in the importance of goodwill, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the entire year.”
Macy’s Believe campaign was inspired by the heartwarming story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who, in 1897 wrote a letter to the “New York Sun” newspaper questioning the existence of Santa Claus. The editor of The Sun, Francis P. Church notably replied, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …” In hopes of spreading this message and inspiring people nationwide to show goodwill towards others, Macy’s Believe campaign encourages acts of kindness during the holiday season and beyond, celebrating the magic of the holidays by making altruism a new holiday tradition.
Key elements of National Believe Day include:
“Wishes Across America”
In celebration of the fourth annual National Believe Day, Macy’s and Make-A-Wish will grant more than 60 wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions across the nation. The program aptly named “Wishes Across America” was created to spread compassion and generosity by granting multiple wishes across the country all on one day. Wishes to be granted include:
- Illinois – Arlene, 4, will be a princess for the day
- Washington – Joshua, 14, will shop for the latest fashions to fill his closet
- Minnesota – Sabrina, 11, will have a CD recording and release party
- Ohio – Peter, 12, will give his family the best Christmas
- Massachusetts – Athena, 7, will travel to St. Lucia with her family
As part of Macy’s Believe campaign, which kicked off on Nov. 2, children of all ages are encouraged to drop their stamped letters, addressed to Santa at the North Pole, in special, red Santa Mail letterboxes at Macy’s stores nationwide. For every letter received before Dec. 25, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish. In celebration of National Believe Day, Macy’s will offer a special Double Donation and will donate an extra $1 for each letter received on Dec. 14, up to $500,000, to Make-A-Wish, above and beyond the $1 million goal.
Firefighter Letter Collection
Macy’s is calling firefighters to action in select cities across America by challenging them to recruit members of their community to write letters to Santa in support of Macy’s Believe campaign. Utilizing their burning passion to serve, each fire department will collect as many letters as possible that can be dropped off at their local Macy’s on National Believe Day, bringing additional awareness to the cause.
“Yes, Virginia” Animated Special
This holiday season, Macy’s beloved “Yes, Virginia” animated special will once again delight viewers across America. Based on the story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of the “New York Sun”, the holiday special takes viewers on a charming adventure about the existence of Santa Claus and the curiosity amongst believers. “Yes, Virginia” will air on CBS on National Believe Day, Friday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET (check your local listings). On Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET (check your local listings), the Spanish-language version of “Yes, Virginia” will premiere for the first time on Univision. “Yes, Virginia” was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia.
“Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” Augmented Reality Technology
Customers mailing their letters at “Believe” Stations in Macy’s stores can also take a photo with the campaign’s animated stars Virginia and Ollie from the animated holiday special “Yes, Virginia.” Using augmented reality technology, customers with iOS and select Android smartphones can download the “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” app to unlock the magic to see and interact with Virginia, Ollie and their friends. Customers can step in the frame and take a photo, which can also be uploaded into a holiday card template to share via e-mail or Facebook. “Macy's Believe-o-Magic” app was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with Metaio GmbH and The Ebeling Group.
Editor’s Note: For Macy’s Believe campaign media materials, including images, please visit: magicbulletmedia.com/MNR/MacysHoliday2012. For more information about Macy’s Believe campaign and National Believe Day, visit macys.com/believe.
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy's stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.
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 can influence the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based 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 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org.