Macy’s stores across the country are featuring letter-writing “Believe Stations” and Santa Mail letterboxes for believers of all ages to write and drop off letters – stamped and addressed to Santa At The North Pole. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million, to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The “Believe” campaign is rooted in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun written by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897 asking if there is a Santa Claus. New York Sun newsman Francis P. Church responded with a poignantly worded essay on the importance of believing, including the famous line “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…”
The “Believe” campaign launched on November 6 and runs through December 24. Macy’s stores across the country are featuring letter-writing “Believe Stations” and Santa Mail letterboxes for believers of all ages to write and drop off letters – stamped and addressed to Santa At The North Pole. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million, to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. [Read the "Yes, Virginia" letter here]
“Believe” Elements This Year
“Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” Augmented Reality Technology: For the first time, customers mailing their letters at “Believe Stations” in Macy’s stores will have an opportunity to take a photo with the campaign’s animated stars Virginia and Ollie from the animated holiday special “Yes, Virginia.” Using new augmented reality technology, customers with IOS and select Android smartphones can download the “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” application that allows them to unlock the magic to see and interact with Virginia, Ollie and their friends. More can be found at macys.com/believe.
Customers can step in the frame and take a photo, which can also be uploaded into a holiday card template to share via email or Facebook. Customers can also preview the magic at home by downloading the application and printing out the marker. When they point “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” camera at the marker, they can see an animated Virginia ice skating right in their homes!
Celebrity Ornament Collection and Tree Auction:
Macy’s stars – including Calvin Klein, Martha Stewart, Jessica Simpson, Michael Kors, Donald Trump, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Rachel Roy, Material Girl, Kenneth Cole, Sean John, Betsey Johnson, Emeril Lagasse and Greg Norman – have collaborated to create special gift items just in time for the holiday season. The Celebrity Ornament Collection features 14 unique and exclusive celebrity-inspired ornaments that retail for $9.99 each, with 10 percent of the purchase price benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Macy’s has teamed up with leading charity auction website charitybuzz.com to launch a Celebrity Tree Auction, featuring a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree from each of Macy’s stars that collaborated on the Celebrity Ornament Collection. All 14 trees will be on display at Macy’s Herald Square in New York, with the online auction beginning November 8 at macys.com/trees. One hundred percent of the funds raised in the tree auction will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Taking her second stroll down the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® route this year is the little girl who taught everybody to believe! Modeled after the animated version of 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, Virginia had such a wonderful time last year that she’s back for a second flight!
“Yes, Virginia” Animated Special:
Back by popular demand, CBS will re-air the original animated special, “Yes, Virginia.” Building on the story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of the New York Sun in 1897, the holiday special takes us on a charming adventure about the existence of Santa Claus and the curiosity amongst believers.
Have Fun Online with “Believe” Activity Guide:
Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will again share a downloadable online toolkit to facilitate interest from teachers and schools that would like to use “Believe” as a writing lesson or activity during the holiday season. The toolkit, which includes an updated letter-writing template to allow for more interactivity and design, coloring sheet and “I Believe” bookmark cut-out, can be found at macys.com/believe. The letters can then be printed and mailed at Macy’s.