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Voluntourism Spotlight: Donate Miles to Make-a-Wish Foundation

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This week, our voluntourism spotlight is accessible to every frequent flier. We all know miles are getting harder and harder to redeem, so why not consider donating them? Learn more about the Make-a-Wish’s foundation and their April mileage campaign in this weekend’s broadcast of Peter Greenberg Worldwide and check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities.

If you could make one wish, any wish in the world, what would it be? The Make A Wish Foundation asks this question to children with life-threatening medical conditions and makes sure to grant their wishes. When 4-year old Grayson, born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, was asked to make a wish, he asked to visit the ocean to collect seashells. Make-A-Wish sent Grayson and his family of seven to Sanibel Island, Florida, to do just that.

This year, Make-A-Wish will fulfill the wishes of 10,000 children just like Grayson by sending them, along with their families, to any destination in the world, where they can spend time together unburdened by thoughts of needles and hospital visits. Anyone can contribute to the cause throughout the month of April by donating their frequent flier miles or making a cash donation to Make-A-Wish. You can donate airline miles today by visiting Make a Wish’s donation web page.

The foundation needs more than 2.5 billion miles, or 50,000 round-trip tickets, to meet its goal of granting 10,000 wishes each year. Once donated, your miles will never expire. They will be used to help children all across the country take flight.  Also, points and Frequent Flier miles donated to charity are not considered tax deductible, since the IRS recognizes award points and miles as a gift from the corporation to the individual.

In honor of World Wish Day, April 29, WWE superstar and Make-A-Wish ambassador John Cena promises to match every frequent-flier mile donated in April, up to 4.5 million. The day celebrates the organization’s 50th anniversary and its promise to make wishes come true.

Along with Cena, major airlines, including Delta, United, and US Airways, are helping kids take flight by enabling frequent flier members to donate to Make-A-Wish. United Airlines even promises to match the April donations of its MileagePlus members, up to 3 million miles.

To learn more about the mileage donation program or to read about the life-changing adventures Wish children have experienced thanks to donations, visit

By Srbui Karapetian for