Believe it, the Anaheim PD makes strong showing at Macy’s South Coast Plaza Christmas letter-writing event to raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish


It’s not every day you see a police K9 frolicking in the Ladies Apparel department at a Macy’s department store, but there he was Friday, Dec. 6.

Titan and his handler, Officer Anthony McGlade of the Anaheim PD, were among several special visitors to the first floor of Macy’s South Coast Plaza, which hosted a Christmas letter-writing event to help raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish.

Anaheim PD Sgt. Jake Gallacher, left, and Officer Anthony McGlade help Addi Chang, 10, deposit letters to Santa in a Macy’s mailbox that will generate donations to Make-A-Wish.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

For the first time ever, members of the Anaheim PD participated in the annual Macy’s Believe campaign, delivering hundreds of letters to a red mail box. The letters, bound for Santa, were written by APD personnel and students at Maxwell Elementary School.

One Maxwell student, Stephanie, wrote:

For Christmas, I want a ukelele and a phone because my other one cracked from my screen and I would like books. Thank you!

Another Maxwell student, Alan, wrote:

What I want for Christmas is a teddy bear so I can sleep well. Also I want a blanket because it’s really cold here. Also I want a Nintendo switch and a dog. 

Anaheim PD Sgt. Jake Gallacher holds a handful of letters to Santa.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

From Nov. 4 through Dec. 24, Macy’s stores nationwide have pledged to donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish for each letter collected in-store or submitted online at

The APD has a longtime partnership with Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire, organizing such events as, recently, “Abdul’s Police Officer Wish.” (Click here for story on Abdul and click here for video).

Sgt. Jake Gallacher got his agency’s approval for the APD to participate this December in the annual Believe campaign, which since 2003 has raised more than $19 million for Make-A-Wish. Overall, Macy’s has donated a total of more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish.

“We have a very strong relationship with Make-A-Wish and in the spirit of the season it made sense for us to support the Macy’s Believe campaign,” said Gallacher, who made a video of APD personnel writing letters to Santa Claus. In the video below, officers don Santa hats and Titan even “paws” a letter to Santa :

The APD letter drop-off fell on National Believe Day, Dec. 6, when Macy’s hosted letter-writing events in stores across the country. On Dec. 6, each letter counted for a $2 pledge by Macy’s to Make-A-Wish.

Macy’s South Coast Plaza has an area set up for kids and others to write and craft artistic cards while munching on cookies and drinking apple cider.

Make-A-Wish provides children with critical illnesses the chance to experience life beyond their illness and see their most heartfelt wish come true. Overall, since 2003, Macy’s has donated more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish.

Addison Chang, a wish child from Fountain Valley, showed up at Friday’s event with her mother and little sister.

Mavis Chang, 2, of Fountain Valley, left, works with her sister, Addi, 10, to get letters to Santa ready to deposit in the Macy’s mailbox.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Addison, 10, a fifth-grader at Roch Courreges Elementary School in Fountain Valley, brought with her 331 letters collected from her classmates. Addison, with McGlade and Gallacher sitting besider her, wrote and deposited her own letter Friday:

I wish for no homeless, because whenever I see them I always feel bad, so if you could do that it would make a real merry Christmas. — Addi Chang

Addi has a congenital heart defect, said her mother, Nicole, as Nicole’s other daughter, Mavis, 2, drew a picture on a Christmas card.

“It’s a dinosaur,” Nicole said.

Addi Chang places her own letter to Santa in the Macy’s mailbox.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

In 2016, Make-A-Wish granted Addi’s wish to be on set for the filming of a favorite TV program. Addi, who has a pacemaker, said she loves to study math and enjoys musical theater. She dances almost every day of the week.

“I think it’s great,” Nicole said of the Dec. 6 event. “It’s the holidays, and this gives kids something to do while their parents shop. And it’s a beautiful cause.”

Kids and adults swarmed around Titan, a drug and apprehension K9 and one of the APD’s six police dogs. Titan has made more than 100 drug busts – mostly cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, McGlade said.

Gallacher said the APD plans to be back next year supporting Make-A-Wish, and that he hopes to bring in other Anaheim partners, too, including the Anaheim Ducks and Anaheim Angels.

Anaheim PD Sgt. Jake Gallacher, left, Officer Anthony McGlade and APD K9 Titan write letters to Santa with 10-year-old Addi Chang.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Anaheim PD Sgt. Jake Gallacher holds a letter to Santa asking for a teddy bear and a blanket to keep warm.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Addi Chang sorts through letters to Santa that will generate money for Make-A-Wish.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Anaheim PD Officer Anthony McGlade (left), his K9 partner Titan, Addi Chang, Gloria Jetter Crockett, CEO of Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire, and Sgt. Jake Gallacher at the Macy’s Letters to Santa collection mailbox.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge