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State employees told not to push charity at work

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There is a new Grinch this Christmas — the Hawaii State Ethics Commission has issued an advisory telling state employees not to promote Macy’s seasonal Make-A-Wish fundraiser at island schools.

According to the advisory, a number of public school teachers and administrators have been asked to support and encourage students to participate in the department store’s "A Million Reasons to Believe" promotion. In the campaign, kids write letters to Santa and then deposit them in boxes at Macy’s stores. Macy’s then promises to donate $1 for each letter to the Make-A-Wish foundation, a nonprofit that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The state ethics code prohibits public employees from fundraising or seeking support for a private charity such as Make-A-Wish at work, the advisory said.

That means DOE employees can’t use their state emails to promote the Believe campaign, use school equipment to print out letter templates, dedicate classroom-time to letter-writing or collect letters on campus.

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