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Make-A-Wish® South Dakota aims to collect 1 million airline miles during annual campaign

Feb 24, 2019 03:22PM ● By MED Magazine

Each year, Make-A-Wish® South Dakota collects airline miles to make travel wishes come true for children with critical illnesses through its Wishes in Flight campaign.  The annual campaign has raised more than 12 million donated airline miles since its inception in 2012. Delta and United airline miles are accepted throughout this campaign, and once donated, the miles will never expire.

Last year, more than 1.4 million miles were generously donated throughout the course of the campaign. President and CEO Sue Salter is hoping to once again surpass the million-mile goal.  

“Miles donations of all sizes are important to the success of this campaign,” Salter said.  “The donated miles save our organization tens of thousands of dollars in airfare each year. Every donation of miles helps transform the life of a child in our state battling a critical illness.”

Last year, Make-A-Wish South Dakota granted 80 life-changing wishes to children in our state.  Of those wishes, about 79 percent required air travel, the largest expense of the chapter’s annual wish budget.   Thanks to generous donations of air miles throughout the year, the organization utilized over 2 million donated miles to save approximately $35,000 in costs for the chapter.

The types of wishes that utilize airline miles are diverse and include travel to international countries, out-of-state amusement parks and unique locations around the United States.   On average, it takes about 50,000 airline miles to provide a flight for a wish child, and about 200,000 miles to fly the average-sized family.

Make-A-Wish South Dakota accepts miles donations year-round online at southdakota.wish.org or by calling 800.640.9198.  The Wishes in Flight campaign is made possible by Five Star Call Centers, KSFY-TV, NewsCenter1, Midco, Results Radio, HomeSlice Media Group, and the Sioux Falls and Rapid City Regional Airports.   Tune into KSFY-TV and NewsCenter1 beginning February 24 for exclusive nightly wish kid stories, and all day on February 28 for inspirational interviews, stories and frequent campaign updates.