This holiday season marks the fifth year that YouthQuest has participated in Macy’s Believe campaign, which donates $1 to Make-A-Wish for every letter written to Santa and collected in stores.

The afterschool program set an ambitious goal of sending 50,000 letters to Kris Kringle on National Believe Day (Dec. 9), when the retailer doubles its donation amount. Not only did the students and staff meet that goal, they surpassed it with a total of 50,673 letters.

“Students participate in a number of service learning projects throughout the year, and this one especially resonates with them,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “They’ve spent the past several weeks writing, collecting and counting thousands of letters – all because they want to help Make-A-Wish grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.”

In 2014, students wrote and collected more than 7,000 letters for the Believe campaign, helping raise $15,588. In 2015, they delivered 41,000 letters, ultimately contributing nearly $80,000 to Make-A-Wish’s cause. Earlier this year, Make-A Wish-Michigan presented YouthQuest with the Joy Award, which recognizes a school or youth program that has gone above and beyond to support the nonprofit.

Macy’s Believe campaign officially runs through Dec. 24. To participate, drop off a stamped letter addressed to Santa in the designated letterbox inside your local Macy’s store or send a letter through