Letters to Santa

by Marly Fausz

As Thanksgiving is suddenly here, many begin to reflect not only on what they are thankful for in their own lives but what they have done to help others be thankful.

Childtime, located off Old Lane Road in Chester, along with their teachers, families and students, have made a commitment to help wishes come true for children suffering from life threatening illnesses through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each year they have held fundraising activities such as bake sales, penny wells and silent auctions to contribute to the cause.

“We enjoy supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation because every child deserves an opportunity to be able to succeed in life and this is our way of giving back,” Childtime Center Director Heather Adams said.

Each year, between November 8 and December 24, Make-A-Wish partners with Macy’s for the national “Believe” campaign when children of all ages can write a letter to Santa and Macy’s will donate $1 back to help wishes come true for these children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“Writing a letter to Santa and delivering it to one of our community Macy’s stores is a fun way for children of all ages to connect with the spirit of the holidays,” Sheri Lambert, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia chapter said. “We are grateful for Macy’s continued support over the years on helping these incredible children to build hope, gain strength and experience joy during this magical time of year.”

A wish is more than something nice for suffering children because its reach extends far beyond a single event or moment in time. Wish kids, their families and medical professionals all agree that wish experiences can change the lives of everyone involved, forever. Wishes coming true for those in treatment are viewed as a positive turning point in their battle for health as it helps them feel stronger and more energetic, as well as encourages them to comply with more difficult treatment regimens.   

In a 2011 study, Make-A-Wish found that 95 percent of their volunteers felt an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity. Members of the Chester community can join in this feeling and volunteer simply by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it at a local Macy’s. The goal for this year’s local foundation is 23,500 letters.

Make-A-Wish is asking parents and organizations alike to begin their letter writing campaign to make a difference for a child in need this holiday season. To learn more about the “Believe” fundraising campaign visit www.va.wish.org.

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