Written by The Business Journal Staff
For the ninth consecutive year, the department store chain Macy’s hosted its annual National Believe Day, which inspires shoppers young and old to write letters to Santa Claus.
This year’s National Believe Day was held Dec. 9, and for every Santa letter mailed via Macy’s mailbox that day, two dollars were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Rick Earnest, the general manager at Macy’s Fashion Fair, said 50 stores across the United States go the extra mile on National Believe Day by revealing a wish that will be granted to a child served by Make-A-Wish.
This year, the Fashion Fair location honored 13-year-old Kylie, who is currently in remission from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a disease that acts as a cancer in the body. Kylie was diagnosed in July 2015 and just recently started to recover after undergoing six months of chemotherapy.
Kylie wished for a room makeover, and the local Macy’s designed a bedroom display based on Kylie’s Pinterest boards and introduced her to a Macy’s stylist who will help Kylie’s wish come true.
Earnest said the ongoing partnership between Macy’s and Make-A-Wish is remarkable because it not only helps kids like Kylie, but it brings out the child in everyone during the holiday season.
“We encourage everyone across the country—young, old, in the middle, it doesn’t matter—to write letters to Santa Claus and for every letter written and dropped in our mailboxes across the country, we donate a dollar to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. For National Believe Day, we add another $1 million to that by donating $2 per letter,” Earnest said of the campaign, which runs through Christmas.
The day was extra special for Kylie, who was treated to a surprise makeover in the Macy’s cosmetic department before being led down the escalator where she was surprised again with the news of her wish being granted.
“I’m very happy to be here and very surprised that they picked me,” Kylie said. “I chose a bedroom makeover as my wish because my room right now reminds me of chemotherapy because I always remember being at home, staying in my bed, and it brings back that feeling, so a room makeover is a new, fresh start.”
Make-A-Wish Central California Community Director Cortney Snapp said granting wishes like Kylie’s are possible because of the generous donations made by individuals and companies like Macy’s.
“Because of the support Macy’s provides throughout the year, we’re able to grant wishes like Kylie’s,” Snapp said. “Her wish is a room makeover. A lot of times a kid wants to take a trip or something, so her mom and dad redid her room with a beach theme so it was very relaxing when she was going through treatment. Now that she is done with treatment, she wants a fresh start. She loves the seasons so that will be the theme of her new room. Her room is also tiny, so her goal is to utilize more space and the Macy’s stylist will give her tips and help with that.”
As the first piece of décor for Kylie’s new seasonal room, Earnest gave her a winter snow globe.
While Kylie is excited to get her wish, she is also excited to hear that so many Santa letters were written in her honor. At the event, students from Pacheco High School in Los Banos delivered 6,000 letters, Kerman Unified delivered 700, the Fresno Fire Department delivered hundreds and Fresno State students in the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Delta Gamma sorority delivered letters on behalf of their chapter members.
Prior to the surprise, Kylie didn’t know much about the Macy’s National Believe Day campaign, but now she plans to write and collect Santa letters for the cause every year.
“It feels great that I can help bring awareness to this,” Kylie said.