PHOENIX (March 31, 2015) – 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. On Thursday, April 2, Make-A-Wish® will launch a month-long, nationwide campaign – Give Wishes Wings – focusing on the unique and critical need Make-A-Wish has for airline miles. The campaign will encourage the millions of Americans who have unused airline miles to consider donating them to help grant the nearly 75 percent of wishes that require travel.
The process to donate miles is as simple as visiting givewisheswings.org, choosing from a number of airlines – including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines®, JetBlue, 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 Americans 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 requires to make wishes possible.
“Travel for wishes is our number one cost,” said David Williams, president and chief executive officer for Make-A-Wish America. “Donating airline miles provides an alternative way for supporters of Make-A-Wish to directly support our mission without ever opening their wallets. It’s a non-monetary way to grant wishes and change the lives of sick kids fighting for their health.”
MATT WALSH, OF HBO’S VEEP, STARS IN GIVE WISHES WINGS PSA
READ ABOUT HOW MAKE-A-WISH CHANGES LIVES
FOLLOW THE #GIVEWISHESWINGS CONVERSATION
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. The fully integrated April campaign 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
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WILLING TO TWEET ABOUT GIVE WISHES WINGS?
Suggested Twitter language:
TEXT: Help #GiveWishesWings during April by donating your airline miles and dollars to @MakeAWish (LINK)
Suggested Facebook language:
TEXT: Help #GiveWishesWings during the month of April by donating your airline miles and dollars to Make-A-Wish! To learn how, visit www.givewisheswings.org
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Note to Editors: The wishes Make-A-Wish grants span multiple areas of interest, including (but not limited to) sports, television and film, fashion, theme parks, technology, the outdoors, finance, and celebrities; 75 percent of these wishes involve travel. If interested in covering a travel wish that involves a specific topic, please contact Josh deBerge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.