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More Miles Than You Can Use? Consider Donation!

May 24, 2017 03:44PM ● Published by Digital Media Director

Each year, Make-A-Wish South Dakota grants wishes to sick children and their families that help to ease the pain and stress of facing a life-threatening illness. About 70 percent of those wishes involve travel and it’s not cheap.

“Because we know that serious illness can impact the entire family, our commitment is to make travel-related wishes possible not just for the sick child, but also for the parents or guardians and for any siblings living at home,” says Make-A-Wish President and CEO Paul Krueger. “That can mean anywhere from three or four people up to as many as ten.”

Flying ten people to Disneyworld can add up. That’s why, for the last six years, Make-A-Wish has encouraged people with extra airline miles banked up to consider donating some of them as a way to offset their travel expenses.

“We receive miles donations from a variety of people,” says Krueger. “Some come from older people who know they are not planning to travel much. Others come from frequent travelers or people who get credit card miles and have so many miles that they wouldn’t miss a 500 or a thousand.”

United Airlines requires a minimum donation of 500 miles and Delta requires a minimum of 1,000. (Some other airlines are involved but their requirements differ) There is no maximum and Krueger says the organization has received donations as high as 100,000 or more. In fact, each year, the organization’s spring “Wishes in Flight” campaign has brought in more than a million miles. This year, the number topped 1.3 million.

“That equates to saving us $20,000 to $25,000 in airfare dollars this year,” says Krueger.

Donations of miles are accepted year-round and, although the gift is not tax-deductible, it represents an easy and unique way to help Make-A-Wish support the state’s sickest children.

To donate, visit the Make-A-Wish website at southdakota.wish.org or call the dedicated “Wishes in Flight” donation line at 800-640-9198 with your Frequent Flier number and basic details.

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