Blogger Uses Airline Miles to Bring Water and Wheels to Africa

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Ugandan villages in desperate need of clean water got unexpected help from Jason Steele--who funded his philanthropic trip with frequent flier miles.

Photo by Clifford Steele

Children of Uganda happily greeting Jason and Clifford Steele.

The economic downturn seems less significant to me now that I realize we barely have to lift a finger to find clean water.

Travel rewards writer Jason Steele often goes on luxurious free vacations with his family using frequent flier miles. But recently, his savvy knowledge of travel rewards allowed him to take a different kind of trip—to help provide clean water and transportation to villagers in Africa.

Jason went to Africa with his father, Clifford Steele, founder of the non-governmental organization The Clean Water Foundation ( Over the course of their trip, the father and son team gave bicycles to women who desperately needed transportation to support their families, studied how Uganda’s water shortage has torn villages apart, and worked to build functioning wells in the region.

Using frequent flier miles, they saved over $4,000 in airfare—freeing up more resources that can directly contribute to the charity work.

“News of celebrity gossip and even our economic downturn seems less significant to me now that I realize we barely have to lift a finger to find clean water,” said Jason. “Material things come and go, but life-changing trips like this one last forever.”

Jason has written extensively about his African experiences on frugal living site Wise Bread (—where he also shares information about how anyone can use frequent flier miles to travel cheaply, no matter what their goals are.

“I love Jason’s story because it shows frugality is not about acting miserly,” said Meg Favreau, Wise Bread’s Senior Editor. “Frugality is really about saving money and spending it wisely on things that are truly important to you.”

For more information about Jason’s trip or to set up an interview with Jason, please contact Will Chen at media (at) wisebread (dot) com or 310-997-0186.

About Wise Bread
Wise Bread is the winner of's Top Personal Finance Blog of the Year award. It features useful tools to help consumers answer questions such as How do I start a budget? or Which credit card is right for me?

About Jason Steele
Jason is Wise Bread's travel rewards expert who has traveled the world using the best travel rewards cards. His tips have been featured on the Consumerist and MSN Money.

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Will Chen
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