SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — What started as a fun project spearheaded by school resource officers (SROs) took on a holiday spirit of its own.

Letters to Santa, written by students in Sumner County in partnership with Macy’s Believe Campaign, will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Macy’s pays $2 per letter,” explained Sgt. Chris Vines with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.

Students in 51 schools wrote 119,343 letters addressed to the North Pole.

“That’s a little over $238,000 that Make-A-Wish will receive a donation for,” Vines said.

According to Beth Torres, the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, “There are just over 200 kids here in Middle Tennessee waiting for their wish right now, so every dollar that’s raised during the holiday season makes a huge difference.”

It’s also making a difference in the lives of the students who wrote their requests on paper.

“Kids will tell Santa anything,” Vines said. “Sometimes it gives us some insight into some struggles that our kids are dealing with in the home, and it gives us an opportunity to see that and be able to do something to hopefully impact them and make their lives better.”

These letters, filled with hope, are just another way the SROs in Sumner County are connecting with students while also impacting the lives of strangers.

“For these kids, they’re writing letters to Santa, and they’re making wishes come true,” Torres said. “There’s a lot of power in that.”

If you want to learn more about how you can help support Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, follow this link.