Make-A-Wish® Launches Nationwide, April Campaign Focused on Raising Airline Miles to Grant Wishes

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Airline Miles Help Wish Kids Travel to Wish Destinations Around the World

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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. Few recognize the resources Make-A-Wish uses to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. In fact, the numbers add up quickly – Make-A-Wish needs 2.5 billion airline miles to grant 10,000 wishes each year that involve travel – most of them in the summer.

That’s why Make-A-Wish is encouraging the donation of airline miles throughout the month of April, as part of Wishes in Flight®, to help us gear up for the busiest wish granting season. Individuals who fly on Delta, United, or US Airways can easily donate frequent flier miles, in just a few easy steps, by visiting The number of miles an individual can donate can range from a few thousand miles* to millions. Donated miles never expire and are never used for anything other than wish travel.

“With nearly 75% of wishes involving travel, our need for airline miles is critical,” 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 help grant wishes without ever opening their wallets.”

In addition to hosting the online miles donation portal, Make-A-Wish is working with companies throughout the country to hold corporate campaigns to raise miles and has developed relationships with radio and television stations nationwide where on-air miles drives will take place. The organization is also launching a national marketing initiative to bring attention to the organization’s need for airline miles.

“When someone hears frequent flier miles, we want them to think of Make-A-Wish, to think about how easy it is to help change the lives of sick children who are fighting for their health,” said John Vranas, chief marketing officer for Make-A-Wish America.

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 can even improve 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.

Make-A-Wish accepts the donation of airline miles year-round through Wishes in Flight, but April is a critical time for airline miles as travel arrangements are being made for summer wish travel. To learn more about the inspiring wishes Make-A-Wish grants visit or to donate miles, visit

*minimum donations depend on airline

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Suggested Twitter language:
TEXT: Donate your airline miles to @MakeAWish in April and help wish kids travel this summer. #WishesInFlight

Suggested Facebook language:
TEXT: This year, 10,000 wish kids and their families will travel for a Make-A-Wish experience. Donate your frequent flier miles to Make-A-Wish America in April and help wish kids travel this summer. #WishesInFlight
NOTE: tag Make-A-Wish America

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About Make-A-Wish
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 can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based 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 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at to learn more.

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 jdeberge(at)wish(dot)org.

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Josh deBerge
Make-A-Wish® America
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