Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters to Santa turn into gifts for Make-A-Wish

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Elf Danica Holtan shows 12-year-old Lily Moser her face after painting a Christmas tree on it during Make-A-Wish Oregon's letter-writing kickoff campaign at Macy's department store. The Macy's Believe Campaign donates cash to the organization for every letter written to Santa.This holiday season, Lily Moser knows exactly what she wants from Santa.

Two years ago, the Tigard 12-year-old went on the trip of a lifetime with her family as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Lily, who has a severe seizure disorder, went on a cruise with her family to the Bahamas and has since been helping to spread the word about the foundation and its great work for children.

Now, she’s writing all her wishes for the foundation down in a letter to Santa.

Starting last week, Make-A-Wish Foundation began accepting letters to St. Nick at any Macy’s department store.

Dropped-off letters will be sent to the North Pole, and Macy’s will donate $1 to the foundation for every letter received.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The staff at Macy's at Washington Square mall help launch Macy's Believe Campaign with 12-year-old Lily Moser. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted a wish for Moser two years ago.

“Kids will be writing letters to Santa anyway, and this is a great way to ask for what they want and help other kids in our area who need their wishes to be granted,” said Tracey Lam, a spokeswoman with Oregon Make-A-Wish.

The department store chain has committed up to $1 million to the nonprofit organization.

Oregon Make-A-Wish has been granting the wishes of terminally ill children for 30 years. The organization grants about 200 wishes a year across Oregon and in Clark County, Wash., Lam said.

Letters submitted with stamps and addressed to “Santa at the North Pole” will be mailed to Santa himself.

“Santa will get the letters,” Lam said.

This is the sixth year Make-A-Wish and Macy’s have teamed up for the letter-writing campaign. The holiday season is a great way to get local children involved in helping others, Lam added.

“It means a lot to be able to spread the word about Make-A-Wish,” she said. “Without support from the community, we would not be able to grant as many wishes as we can.”

While the letter-writing campaign is geared toward children, anyone “young at heart” can send their own letter to help the foundation.

“The more the merrier,” Lam said.

A couple weeks ago, Make-A-Wish made headlines after a young boy in California wished to be Batman for the day. The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish organization transformed San Francisco into Gotham City, and the pint-sized superhero raced across town saving residents from villains.

Oregon Make-A-Wish hasn’t done anything quite that large, but did invite more than 3,000 people to Jeld-Wen Field in May for a scrimmage match between an 8-year-old boy, who is battling a cancerous tumor, and the Portland Timbers.

“He wanted his little league soccer team to take on the Timbers,” Lam said.

The free game drew a lively crowd that cheered as the young players beat the Timbers 10-9.

Wishes like this not only take children’s minds off of their situation, Lam said, but have a real positive effect on their fight for survival. by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Lily Moser puts her letter to Santa in the drop box during Macy's Believe Campaign launch at the Washington Square mall.

“When children get sick, it has a ripple effect in the community,” she said. “A wish really brings it all together. I like to say that a wish isn’t just something nice to have; it does make a huge impact in a child’s recovery. It helps with their mental and emotional state, and that has an impact on their fight against a life-threatening medical condition.”

Lily’s mom, Jen Moser, agreed.

“The impact of a wish on a child and their family is something that lasts beyond just the time of the wish,” she said. “Those memories and photographs of Lily’s wish trip are something we take with us and something Lily can reflect back on when she faces challenges with her on-going condition.”

Letters will be accepted at any Macy’s department store through Christmas Eve.

For more information about Make-A-Wish and how you can help make wishes come true, go to >oregon.wish.org.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Lily Moser writes her letter to Santa as part of Macy's Believe Campaign at the Washington Square mall. The campaign will donate $1 for every letter to Santa dropped off at Macy's department stores across the state.



Local Weather

Cloudy

58°F

Wilsonville

Cloudy

Humidity: 72%

Wind: 10 mph

  • 21 Oct 2014

    Light Rain 62°F 55°F

  • 22 Oct 2014

    Rain 59°F 53°F