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Luke Hoag Brings the Joy

Luke Hoag
ALBANY -- Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York wish ambassador Luke Hoag strode into Macy’s at Colonie Center bringing the joy – and a whole bunch of letters.

Boxes of them. A busload, actually. Again.

Luke, a Hoosick Falls 12-year-old, began delivering letters to Santa to Macy’s on Believe Day in 2015. This December, his fifth campaign, he beamed as he walked past cheering Macy’s employees, smiling shoppers and the media to the Believe mailbox. He started unloading a sack of letters, stopping after a few dozen.

“I’ll put the rest in later,” he said to laughter.

Good move. Luke, as part of his Luke’s Believe Campaign, delivered more than 84,000 letters as part of Macy’s Believe Campaign to benefit Make-A-Wish® America, bringing his five-year total north of 250,000.

Since 2003, Macy’s has donated more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish, including more than $19 million through the annual Believe campaign, helping to grant more than 14,500 wishes and impact nearly 3 million people, including wish kids and their families, volunteers, community groups, medical professionals and more.

With Macy’s donating $2 per letter on Believe Day, that means Luke – who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and went on his wish to Walt Disney World® Resort in 2010 – has been personally responsible for raising a half-million dollars for helping create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

A half-million dollars.

As stunning as the total is, more notable is the reaction of people when Luke enters the room. At Tamarac Elementary School in Brunswick, which handed over nearly 8,000 letters for his campaign, Luke is treated like a rock star by excited kids at an assembly on what is dubbed “Luke Day.”

Looking at the elated faces of everyone watching this wish kid arrive at Macy’s, one can’t help but be struck out how he spreads joy here, too. Everywhere, actually.

“There is joy everywhere,” his mom Jackie said. “Sometimes it just takes a child to remind us.”

Almost a decade after his Make-A-Wish, Luke has a new wish now.

“My wish is to see all these kids get their wish come true,” he said.

And spread a lot of joy doing it.

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