Wishing upon a star

On Nov. 15, the Bay Area watched as San Francisco transformed into Gotham City to fulfill a child’s dream of becoming Batman for a day. Miles Scott is a leukemia patient who was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Bay Area.

This 5-year-old boy’s dreams were turned into a reality because of the kindness and generosity that lives in the hearts of the countless volunteers and city officials in San Francisco and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Bay Area.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children up to the age of 18 who are suffering from a terminal illness. With the Christmas season approaching, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has teamed up with Macy’s for their sixth annual “Believe” campaign, where people of all ages can write a letter to Santa Claus.

For every letter written, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This Christmas season marks the first year that Sonoma State students can personally write letters of their own to Santa Claus and play a role in changing the lives of suffering children.

Tyler Brown, a third-year business management major at Sonoma State, has created the SSU Make-A-Wish Letter Drive group on Facebook, which allows students to play a direct role in this selfless national tradition. Set up outside of Seawolf Service Center in Salazar Hall is a drop-box where students can write a letter to Santa Claus.

Brown’s goal is to reach 7,500 letters, which will grant one wish to a deserving child in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students can write an unlimited amount of letters; thus writing multiple letters will help reach the goal sooner than anticipated.

Brown and the SSU Make-A-Wish Letter Drive will be collecting letters until Dec. 4. Once all letters have been received, they will be read, counted and hand-delivered to the Macy’s department store in San Francisco, where the Bay Area “Believe” campaign is headquartered.

Bringing this tradition to Sonoma State was inspired not only by the season of giving, but also by Brown’s aunt, who is a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Having a program of such generosity at Sonoma State represents the campus in a positive way and shows how a small act of kindness can change the lives of deserving children.

“I wanted to give back [to the community] because I realized the importance of helping others and giving back some of what I have been blessed with,” said Brown. “At the end of the day, these children are terminally ill, and one minute of my life is worth nothing compared to theirs.”

Scott, or “Batkid,” is now in remission after battling leukemia. His dream of becoming the iconic superhero of Batman for the day was made possible because of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Once the day of heroism ended in San Francisco, Scott not only received the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee, but also the key to the hearts of many Americans including President Barack Obama.

The short and simple act of writing a letter may seem insignificant in the eyes of many college students, but Brown encourages them to take a minute out of their day that will truly make a difference in the lives of local children.