Trillions of airline miles go unused each year. Instead of letting them expire or using them for magazine subscriptions, those miles can easily be donated to change the lives of sick kids battling life-threatening illnesses right here in Michigan. This month, Make-A-Wish Michigan launched a month-long campaign – Give Wishes Wings – focusing on the unique and critical need Make-A-Wish has for airline miles. The campaign encourages travelers who have unused airline miles to consider donating them to help grant the 81 percent of Michigan wishes that are expected to require travel this fiscal year.
The process to donate miles is as simple as visiting givewisheswings.org, choosing from a number of airlines – including Alaska, American, Delta, Jet Blue and United – and entering a few pieces of information. The number of miles an individual can donate ranges from a few hundred miles* to millions. Donated miles never expire and are never used for anything other than wish travel for wish kids and their families.
Most people have seen or heard of a wish come true – whether it’s a 10-year-old boy visiting Hawaii to see flowing lava, a three-year-old girl meeting the host of a children’s television show, or a teenager being whisked away to a Hollywood movie premiere – miles away from the thought of treatment and the pain of hospital visits. However, few people recognize the resources Make-A-Wish Michigan requires to make wishes possible.
“Travel is a costly expense for our chapter,” said Karen Davis, Make-A-Wish Michigan president & CEO. “Donating airline miles is a little-known way for supporters to help us grant more life-changing wishes to bring hope, strength and joy to our wish kids.”
Supporters who do not have miles to donate, can also visit givewisheswings.org to make a monetary contribution.
Some estimates show there are more than 16 trillion frequent flier miles that go unused each year and some 25 percent of people let their miles expire or at the last minute use miles for magazine subscriptions or a one-time upgrade. In contrast, the impact of a wish can last a lifetime. In fact, medical professionals say wish experiences can improve children’s state of mind, make them more willing to comply with treatment requirements, and even influence their physical health. Former wish kids tell us their wish experience improved their health and strength; gave them more confidence and the will to pursue more challenging life goals; made them more philanthropic and compassionate; and even helped save their life.
Give Wishes Wings is the most ambitious airline miles initiative in Make-A-Wish history. Make-A-Wish Michigan will join Make-A-Wish chapters throughout the country in its activation of the April campaign, which includes brand new broadcast, print and online PSA and advertising features; a mobile optimized micro-site with real-time donation tracking; and a peer-to-peer challenge component that enlists social media to generate campaign support.