WENDELVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - There is nothing easy about dealing with a serious illness, especially when it involves children. Friday, some special people got together to put some hope, strength and joy back into the lives of kids who need it the most.
Putting smiles on children's faces is what Make-A-Wish is all about. The organization arranged a special visit from Santa, fresh off the Macy's Parade, that had the kids grinning ear-to-ear.
According to Mary Moore, Coordinator for Western New York Make-A-Wish, "He's here today at the Wendelville Fire Company to visit with some of our families and take a little time out of his day to spend some time with their families and get everybody in the Christmas spirit."
The true motivation for Friday's visit came from one little boy who wanted to be a fireman for the day, which happened back in February. Not only did this visit put some joy back in the lives of kids who need it most, but some of it rubbed off on the organizers.
"We normally see people at their worst, whether it's car accidents, fires or EMS calls. This whole day was about making one special kid smile and we had a blast doing it," said Shawn Christman, Chief of the Wendelville Fire Company.
"It's amazing what a wish does. It takes a family out of the doctor's office, out of the thoughts of the illness," added Moore.
And Debbie Gradl, a Make-A-Wish mom from Amherst said, "Make-A-Wish is a big part of our lives and he is so excited just to know that we were coming to see Santa and he would be able to speak with him."
Make-A-Wish was founded in our area in 1992 and has grants over 150 wishes every year. In addition to Friday's event, Macy's contributes to the organization in some big ways, but you can also help. It's as easy as writing a Christmas wish letter.
"For every letter you bring to Macy's and put it in the mailbox, they will donate one dollar up to one million dollars to Make-A-Wish," Moore explained.
Gradl said, "It's rally nice to see him so happy and be able to do these types of things and growing. It's just amazing."
In addition to the visit from Santa, kids enjoyed hot chocolate, donuts and a tour of the fire station.
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