Macy's Celebrates the Fifth Anniversary of "Believe" Holiday Campaign to Benefit Make-A-Wish
This holiday season, Macy's will reprise its annual Believe campaign, bringing tidings of joy and goodwill to customers nationwide and lending support to Make-A-Wish. As in previous years, Macy's invites believers of all ages to bring their stamped letters to Santa to their local Macy's, and for each letter received, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. Macy's has donated nearly $5 million to Make-A-Wish over the first four years of its Believe campaign, helping make wishes come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. In celebration of the fifth anniversary, Macy's is introducing a school musical program, while bringing back signature initiatives like the National Santa Tour with stops in 26 cities, and National Believe Day, which will be celebrated on Dec. 14. Through the support of its devoted customers, Macy's “Believe” meters and Santa Mail letterboxes will overflow in this pure celebration of the magic of the holiday season.
Macy's presents "Yes, Virginia The Musical" world premiere performance by Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center (Photo: Business Wire)
“This year marks a milestone as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of our popular Believe campaign,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy's. “Since we introduced this nostalgic holiday program, our customers have responded enthusiastically. By providing Macy's with millions of letters to Santa, they have encouraged Macy's in its donation of nearly $5 million to Make-A-Wish through Believe, thereby impacting positively on countless lives through wish-fulfillments for children. Through this year's entertaining and engaging new elements, we hope participation in the 2012 program will be greater than ever.”
Macy's Believe campaign was inspired by the true story of 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, who, in 1897, wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper asking if there was a Santa Claus. The Sun's editor, Francis P. Church, responded with a poignantly-worded essay on the importance of believing that included the now famous lines “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …” His response proved to be one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time and continues to capture the childhood wonder and hope that exists within us all. This holiday season, Macy's again invites its customers to share in this spirit of belief and generosity by visiting their local Macy's store where they can drop their stamped letters, addressed to Santa At The North Pole, in special Santa Mail letterboxes. For each letter received from Nov. 2 to Dec. 24, Macy's will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“Writing a letter to Santa and delivering it to your local Macy's store is a quick, simple and fun way to help wishes come true this holiday season. We are confident that kids and kids-at-heart will make this a record-setting year for the Believe campaign,” said David A. Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “We are thankful for Macy's continued support and dedication to creating memorable, life-lasting wish experiences that help wish kids feel better and sometimes even get better.”
Key elements from the fifth annual Macy's Believe campaign for 2012 will include:
“Yes, Virginia The Musical”
This holiday season, Virginia is making the leap from the small screen to school stages through “Yes, Virginia The Musical.” These productions will bring the heart-warming story to new audiences with more than 100 local performances being planned in schools nationwide. From California to Florida, Vermont to Texas, and all points in between, families will follow Virginia and her friends through a song-filled adventure to prove Santa really does exist. To help inspire and inform participating schools, Macy's has provided an interactive, digital toolkit at yesvirginiamusical.com, which is equipped with downloadable scripts and scores, production reference materials and helpful videos that feature celebrities and the team at renowned acting camp, Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center. In support of art and music education, Macy's has made the script and score for “Yes, Virginia The Musical” available on a royalty- free basis to all schools, and has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to 100 schools* to help fund their productions of the musical. For more information about local performances of “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” as well as a list of schools that received a grant, visit yesvirginiamusical.com, and click “See The Show.”
Macy's National Santa Tour with Holiday Happiness Provided by Aflac
Macy's and Aflac will partner again this year as the National Santa Tour hits the road, bringing holiday happiness to 26 cities,** coast-to-coast. Santa and his entourage of elves will board the festive, branded tour bus during this fourth annual whirlwind tour, which kicks off on Nov. 24. Come see Santa to tell him what is on your wish list and meet Virginia, who is joining the tour for the first time! Plus, for those families that want to take a little holiday happiness home, the official Aflac Holiday Duck is available for purchase in Macy's stores nationwide and on macys.com. For the full National Santa Tour schedule, visit macys.com/holidayevents.
National Believe Day
In what has become a high point of Macy's Believe campaign, Macy's has declared Friday, Dec. 14 as “National Believe Day” for 2012. Once again, Macy's will call Americans to action in celebration of the holiday season's message of generosity and goodwill. Additional details about this very special day will be released as National Believe Day approaches.
“Yes, Virginia” Animated Special
An instant holiday classic since its 2009 debut, the award-winning “Yes, Virginia” animated special takes viewers on a magical journey as they follow young Virginia O'Hanlon on her adventure to discover the truth about the existence of Santa Claus. The half-hour holiday program features an all-star cast of voices that includes Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina and Beatrice Miller in the title role. In addition to capturing the hearts of viewers across the country, this charming holiday special 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.
Presented by Macy's, “Yes, Virginia” will air on CBS on National Believe Day, Friday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings). For the first time this year, a Spanish-language adaptation of “Yes, Virginia” will also air on Univision on Dec. 23.
“Believe” and “Yes, Virginia” Merchandise
A “Yes, Virginia” illustrated storybook and DVD of the animated special will be available exclusively in select Macy's stores and on macys.com again this holiday season. While helping to spread the tale's inspiring message, purchases also will help to make children's wishes come true because 10 percent of the purchase price of each book and DVD sold will be donated to Make-A-Wish. New this year, believers can purchase the Virginia plush doll modeled on the animated character. “Believe” and “Yes, Virginia” holiday trimmings, which include ornaments and stockings, also are available for customers looking to take home a bit of Macy's holiday magic.
The Virginia balloon will soar down the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® route again this year, marking her third appearance in the lineup. With her letter to the New York Sun in-hand, the adorable Virginia will glide down the streets of New York City as she reminds us all to believe.
“Believe” Sitelet and Activity Guide
Macys.com/Believe is your destination for the latest information about this year's Believe campaign. Create and decorate a letter you can print and bring to your local Macy's, learn more about the story of “Yes, Virginia,” or find a local Santa Mail letterbox. Also available is the “Believe” Activity Guide, a downloadable, online toolkit in English or Spanish for teachers and schools that would like to use “Believe” as a writing lesson or activity during the holiday season.
Macy's fifth annual Believe campaign launched on Nov. 2 and runs through Dec. 24. You can help Macy's collect a million reasons to believe by dropping your letter to Santa at your local Macy's Santa Mail letterbox.
“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. “Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special and storybook by Chris Plehal, by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song “Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).”
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.
*“Yes, Virginia The Musical” Grant Recipient Schools (as of 11/9/12)
|Albany, GA – Sherwood Christian Academy||McKinney, KY – McKinney Elementary|
|Alexandria, KY – Campbell Ridge Elementary School||Melbourne, FL – Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy|
|Bluffton, SC – H.E. McCracken Middle School||Miami, FL – Archimedean Middle Conservatory|
|Bowie, MD – Yorktown Elementary School||Mint Hill, NC – Queen's Grant Community School|
|Brooklyn, NY – P.S. 277||Monroe, GA – Carver Middle School|
|Burgin, KY – Burgin Independent School||Monroe, NC – Parkwood Middle School|
|Calhoun, KY – McLean County Middle School Choir||Morgan Hill, CA – St. Catherine School|
|Cambria Heights, NY – P.S. 176 Queens Cambria||Morgantown, KY – Morgantown Elementary School|
|Heights School||Mount Rainier, MD – Mount Rainier Elementary|
|Carteret, NJ – St. Joseph School||New York, NY – St. Stephen of Hungary School|
|Catlettsburg, KY – Catlettsburg Elementary||Newport, KY – Newport Middle School|
|Chicago, IL – Elizabeth Peabody Elementary School||Nicholasville, KY – West Jessamine Middle School|
|Cincinnati, OH – Carson School||Nicholasville, KY – Nicholasville Elementary School|
|Cincinnati, OH – Midway School||North Salt Lake, UT – Orchard Elementary|
|Coconut Creek, FL – The Randazzo School||North Stonington, CT – North Stonington Elementary School|
|Covington, KY – Fort Wright Elementary||Ocala, FL – Howard Middle School|
|Dalton, GA – Valley Point Middle School||Oceanside, CA – Lincoln Middle School|
|Deland, FL – Freedom Elementary School||Orlando, FL – Andover Elementary School|
|Deltona, FL – Discovery Elementary||Orlando, FL – Howard Middle School|
|Deputy, IN – Deputy Elementary School||Osteen, FL – Osteen Elementary School|
|Derby Line, VT – Holland Elementary School||Oxford, GA – Providence Classical Christian School|
|Detroit, MI – Detroit Enterprise Academy||Palm Springs, FL – St. Luke Catholic School|
|Douglasville, GA – Chapel Hill Middle School||Parker, CO – Charter to Excellence Charter School|
|Duvall, WA – Eagle Rock Multi Age||Pasadena, TX – Morales Elementary School|
|East Canton, OH – East Canton Elementary School||Pepin, WI – Pepin Elementary|
|East Dover, VT – Dover Elementary School||Pittsburgh, PA– Keystone Oaks School District|
|Edinburg, TX – De la Vina Elementary||Port Aransas, TX – H.G. Olsen Elementary|
|Elizabeth City, NC – Sheep Harney Elementary School||Port Orange, FL – Cypress Creek Elementary|
|Englewood, CO – Charles Hay World School||Provo, UT – Edgemont Elementary TREE House Program|
|Fort Washington, MD – Oxon Hill Middle School||Ramer, TN – Ramer Elementary School|
|Fort Wayne, IN – Miami Middle School||Readsboro, VT – Readsboro Central School|
|Galivants Ferry, SC – Aynor Middle School||Reno, NV – Billinghurst Middle School|
|Georgetown, KY – Georgetown Middle School||Roy, UT – Lakeview Elementary School|
|Gilman, VT – Gilman Middle School||Saint George, UT – Bloomington Hills Elementary|
|Green Bay, WI – Holy Family School||Saltillo, MS – Saltillo Elementary School|
|Greenbelt, MD – Greenbelt Middle School||San Antonio, TX – Pat Neff Middle School|
|Gretna, LA – Ruppel Academy of Advanced Studies||Savage, MN – Saint John the Baptist Catholic School|
|Hampstead, NC – North Topsail Elementary School||Sierra Madre, CA – Sierra Madre Elementary|
|Hereford, TX – Northwest Elementary||South Daytona, FL – South Daytona Elementary|
|Hillsboro, OR – Eastwood Elementary School||Spanish Fork, UT – Park Elementary|
|Hopewell Junction, NY – Saint Denis-Saint Columba School||Springfield, OR – Mount Vernon Elementary School|
|Houston, TX – Ridgecrest Elementary School||Sylacauga, AL – Nichols Lawson Middle School|
|Huntington, WV – Peyton Elementary||Tucson, AZ – Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School|
|Jerome, ID – Summit Elementary School||Visalia, CA – Pro-Youth / HEART After School Program|
|Kailua Kona, HI – Hualalai Academy||Walls, MS – Walls Elementary School|
|Kingston Springs, TN – Kingston Springs Elementary||Waxhaw, NC – Kensington Elementary School|
|Kitty Hawk, NC – Kitty Hawk Elementary School||Waxhaw, NC – Marvin Ridge Middle School|
|Laramie, WY– University of Wyoming Laboratory School||Wendover, UT – Anna Smith School|
|Lawrenceburg, KY – Saffell Street Elementary School||Windsor, VA – Windsor Elementary School|
|Madison, IN – Emery Owen Muncie Elementary||Worcester, MA – Vernon Hill School|
|Massillon, OH – Amherst Elementary|
**Cities for Macy's Santa Tour (not in date order):
|Appleton, WI||Montgomery, MD|
|Birmingham, AL||Naples, FL|
|Bozeman, MT||Phoenix, AZ|
|Buffalo, NY||Port Huron, MI|
|Christiana, DE||Providence, RI|
|Chula Vista, CA||Richmond, VA|
|Dallas, TX||Rockford, IL|
|Denver, CO||Sacramento, CA|
|Fargo, ND||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Holyoke, MA||Santa Ana, CA|
|Hyannis, MA||St. Louis, MO|
|Kennesaw, GA||Tulsa, OK|
|Memphis, TN||Twin Falls, ID|
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc. (NYSE: M), 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 have positive impacts on 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 212,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2011 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org.
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