Every year, Macy's hosts the "Million Reasons To Believe" campaign. For each stamped letter written to Santa, Macy's donates $1 (up to $1,000,000) to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It based on the story of a girl named Virginia:
"In 1897, a girl named Virginia wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun asking if Santa truly existed. The editor, in response, published a letter that assured her that Santa exists as surely as beauty and joy exist. One must simply have the courage to shun cynicism and have faith in things that can't always be seen. And for those spirited ones, Santa will always exist."Last year, right after I was crowned Miss Staten Island, I began to work on this campaign as my first big project. I was shocked when I came out with 1,431 letters and couldn't have been more proud of everyone involved. This year, I decided to visit more schools and collect "Dear Santa" letters, once again. Especially with everything that has happened in the world and on Staten Island in the past few months, I thought the children needed something magical to believe in.
As I expected, it was a little more difficult to get schools to participate this year, due to to the Hurricane Relief efforts and having to "catch up" on lost time. However, I was grateful to Public School 6, Intermediate School 24, & Public School 39 for agreeing to work on the campaign with me. Each visit was unique. I enjoyed meeting and working with the students.
At Public School 6, I worked with Ms. Loughran, who created the schools first Student Council and Student Government. I was very impressed by the students of the council when I met them. It made me happy to see how excited they all were to take this project and spread it through their school. I was equally as impressed with Ms. Loughran. She has a true love for her job and students and it shows in everything that she does. I have to also thank Ms. Difolco, the principal, for providing stamps for the letters.
I have to specially mention one of the children I met at PS 39. This young girl is absolutely a future Miss Staten Island. Her name is Lori, and every day she reads the morning announcements to the school. As a Kindergartner, that is an enormous deal! She was awestruck by the crown and sash, but I told her that one day it would be hers.