Make-A-Wish launches Give Wishes WingsSM campaign encouraging the donation of airline miles to help wish kids travel for their wishes
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 in the local community. On Thursday, April 2, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida will begin a month-long campaign – Give Wishes Wings – focusing on the unique and critical need Make-A-Wish has for airline miles. The campaign will encourage travelers who have unused airline miles to consider donating them because it would take 41 million airline miles to fulfill all the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida wishes that require travel each 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 5-year-old boy rescuing a city as his favorite superhero, a young girl wishing to dance with a prince, or a teenager relishing beachside moments in the Caribbean, miles away from the thought of treatment and the pain of hospital visits. However, few people recognize the resources Make-A-Wish Southern Florida requires to make wishes possible.
“Travel is the most costly expense to our chapter,” said Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. “Donating airline miles is a little known way for supporters to help us grant more life-changing wishes without ever having to tap into their bank accounts.”
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 usemiles 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 an d 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 Southern Florida 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.
*minimum donations depend on airline
ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida has granted more than 10,000 wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. The nonprofit organization serves families in Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin, Broward, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Okeechobee counties and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It receives no federal or state funding and raises money to grant wishes through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants, and individual contributions. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours, every day of the year, at an average cost of $5,000. For more information, to make a donation, volunteer or refer a child, contact Make-A-Wish at (888) 773-WISH or connect on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
# # #
MATT WALSH, OF HBO’S VEEP, STARS IN GIVE WISHES WINGS PSA
READ ABOUT HOW MAKE-A-WISH CHANGES LIVES
FOLLOW THE #GIVEWISHESWINGS CONVERSATION