Boise radio station grants Christmas wishes

Each December, LITE-FM grants wishes to people in our community who are going through a tough time.

BOISE - If you listen to 107.9 LITE-FM, you're no doubt a fan of Christmas music. The radio station plays Christmas music 24/7 leading up to the big day.

But that's not all. For the month of December, the station has been warming hearts with "Christmas Wish."

LIFE-FM grants wishes to people to people in our community who going through a tough time. It's something the staff and listeners look forward to every year, because it's what this season is truly all about.

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Michelle Heart is the familiar voice of LITE-FM in the morning. But this month, she'll tell you, her job has been extra special.

"It's hard to put into words, it's definitely changed Christmas for me," Heart said. "This is kind of our way of giving a hand up, not a hand out, to neighbors in need in the Treasure Valley.

"We open nominations up on Black Friday and the stories come in, if we lost someone in the family this year or we're dealing with cancer in the family or there was a fire," Heart explained.

When we caught up with Heart in the studio this past week, it was a big day - Miracle Marathon Day. 12 wishes were granted to 12 families in 12 hours. The money to make the wishes come true is donated by generous listeners.

"We surprise them with the gift at the door and then match them with their nominator on the phone," Heart said.

The guy who gets to surprise the families is LITE-FM's Jeff Connell.

"I get to play two roles so it's kinda fun for me, I get to be coordinator behind the scenes," Connell said. "My second role is I get to be chief elf, so I take what we call the sleigh and I get to surprise people with their gifts at their house."

Heart says it's hard to hold back the tears on air.

"Just knowing we've made a difference for these people who have experienced a lot of tragedy or something horrible in 2017 to see them or hear them on my end light up, I can't put it into words," she said.

Hundreds of wishes have been granted over the last 20 years. LITE-FM says they couldn't do it without donations from listeners.

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"I think you really do see the true spirit of Christmas, the generosity of the Treasure Valley," Connell said. "I get to be the hands and feet of that and it's a crazy cool thing, I don't deserve it and it feels amazing. I get to deliver hope."