Macy’s Associates Share Stories of Making Believe Wishes Come True

Macy’s has been partnering with Make-A-Wish for 10 years to make holiday wishes come true for children with critical illnesses. Thanks to the generosity of our Associates and customers, we’ve raised $15 million to benefit Make-A-Wish through the Believe campaign, and more than $100 million through our total partnership with Make-A-Wish since 2003 – that’s nearly three wishes granted every day for the past 14 years!

Our Associates also are among the more than 2.4 million people touched by the wishes granted by Macy’s. Through the years, we’ve shared countless photos of Wish recipients experiencing this holiday magic. This year, Coast to Coast takes you behind-the-scenes as some of our Associates share memories of making wishes come true.

The Ultimate Bedroom Makeover at Macy’s Ross Park Mall (Pittsburgh)

Last year, Samantha, a 15-year-old diagnosed with ganglioneuroblastoma, was invited to kick off National Believe Day at Macy’s Ross Park Mall. She didn’t realize she would be stepping into her wish-come-true that same day – a perfect replica of her bedroom makeover.

“Samantha’s wish was to have a complete bedroom makeover,” said Kim Macek, visual manager at Macy’s Monroeville (formerly at Macy’s Ross Park). “Our visual team and other volunteers spent four days creating an exact replica of Samantha’s bedroom in the mattress department. The furniture store brought over samples of the furniture to use for the in-store reveal, and some of their Associates volunteered to deliver her new furniture to her home. Members of our visual team also went to her home to set everything up.”

Samantha was surprised and excited when she saw her completed room. “She mentioned that her dog sleeps with her, so we used a bed with a trundle underneath and turned it into a dog bed,” said Donna Pappano, Macy’s Ross Park visual manager. “Kim’s dad also built a custom frame for a picture of the New York City skyline that she wanted to include in her room makeover.”

Granting Samantha’s wish was special for both Donna and Kim. “It was one of my most rewarding career experiences – very emotional, but exciting at the same time,” said Donna.

“It felt really good to see her so happy after everything she had been through,” added Kim. “It was nice to give her a transitional room she can enjoy for years to come.”

Putting a Future Train Conductor on the Right Track – Macy’s Downtown Seattle

Five-year-old Tommy, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, knew he would get his wish to be a train conductor in February of this year, but Associates at the Macy’s Downtown Seattle store treated him to a conductor test last December so he would be ready for his big day. In addition to setting up a fully stocked Green Room to make his family feel at home during their visit, Associates created four “stops” throughout the store, each with a different task for Tommy to complete.

The tasks ranged from collecting coal to visiting the store’s iconic train display and answering train-related questions supplied by the BNSF Railway. When he had completed his trip around the store, Tommy earned his conductor’s hat and was presented with his own toy train set.

“All of our Associates participated in some way, from taking part in the activities to setting up the Green Room and keeping his family comfortable,” said Raquel Bird, shop captain, Men’s floor. “It was our chance to give back to the community.”

You Can Help Make Wishes Come True!

Help us raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish! Write your letter to Santa and drop it in the big red letterbox at your Macy’s store – or send it online at – and Macy’s will donate $1 for each letter to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. On Friday, Dec. 8, join us for National Believe Day – one special day of double donations! On that day, Macy’s will give an additional $1 for each letter dropped in a letterbox or sent online. That’s in addition to up to $1 million already committed to the letters dropped off in-store and online through Dec. 24!

And tune in to “Good Morning America” on National Believe Day – Friday, Dec. 8 – to see a special Wish segment and learn more about our day of double donations! Check local listings for stations and times.


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