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Positively Upstate: Luke Hoag helps Make-A-Wish, one letter at a time

Luke Hoag drops letters to Santa in a mailbox.

A 10-year-old boy from Hoosick Falls is doing something incredible this Christmas season, changing the lives of children one letter at time. They’re for Santa and the kids he’s helping are suffering from life-threatening conditions. This year ‘Luke’s Believe Campaign’ aims to top last year’s haul of 44,000 letters. A stockpile personally delivered to the Macy’s at Crossgates Mall on ‘Believe Day’ where the company donates $2.00 for every piece of mail to the Make a Wish Foundation. Grand total last year was a whopping $88,000.

“I was really surprised we raised that much” Luke Hoag tells CBS6. “This year we don’t really have a goal except to try and get it (the word) out to people who don’t know what Make a Wish is.”

Luke began collecting letters in 2015 with an original goal of 1,000 letters. It ended up being 15,000. For Luke, a 5th graders at Hoosick Falls Central School, this cause is personal. He lives with an inoperable brain tumor and had his Make a Wish granted years ago; a trip to Disney World. Now, he’s paying it forward. Trying to help other kids with conditions like his have a lasting memory.

“The fact he wants to pass that on and pay it forward is something we want to instill in all our kids.” Luke’s 5th grade English teacher, Jennifer O’Connor says. “Every year not only do we get more letters but more people understanding what Make a Wish is, how it benefits people, and Luke is great at explaining that.”

For every letter to Santa, Macy’s donates $1.00 to the Make a Wish Foundation. However, on ‘Believe Day’ which is December 8th, it doubles that – donating $2.00. Luke basically acts as the middle-man. Send your letters to him, he gathers them all up, and personally delivers them to Macy’s on that day to get the maximum amount of donation Monday.

WANT TO HELP? It’s really easy and it could be a great family activity!

Letters are due by Dec. 7, so Hoag can deliver them to Macy’s the next day. You can use your own paper, card, and format, or feel free to use the template available on the school website (Hoosick Falls Central School) and Facebook page.

Once completed, you can mail your letters to: Hoosick Falls Central School, C/O Luke Hoag, P.O. Box 192, 21187 NY 22, Hoosick Falls, New York 12090.

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