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I come from a social work background, and started out my experience as a parent by staying for free at the Ronald McDonald House with a baby in the NICU at the nearby hospital, so it should be no surprise that I have a pretty soft spot for helping kids, especially those who are facing some pretty serious illnesses.
So, when I got an email today from a Mommy Points’ reader about drumming up some awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota’s annual airline miles drive, I was more than happy to help share the info.
The reader who emailed me isn’t just a person working on behalf of Make-A-Wish, but instead is a dad of two girls who two years ago found out his youngest daughter, Molly, then 6, had leukemia. This illness came very much out of the blue for them, and in the first year she had 60+ nights in the hospital and missed over 100 days of school. Needless to say, it was a very rough year.
Before Molly became ill the family was very big into travel with their daughters, and had actually visited 37 states, and specifically loved visiting the National Park Service sites. Of course during treatment their travel dropped off significantly, but when Molly got the opportunity to be involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation last November, she got to be on site when they filmed the start of “The Amazing Race”!
She had watched almost all the old seasons on DVD while in the hospital and was a huge fan of the show, as was her sister. Make-A-Wish flew the family out to Los Angeles for the event, and Molly got to meet the teams, spend time with the host, Phil Keoghan, and had an amazing time.
Now that she is nearing the end of her 27 months of treatment (and going very well!), her family is sharing their story and helping Make-A-Wish of Minnesota with their annual airline miles drive. They reportedly need more than 75 million airline mile per year to help grant the wishes of sick kiddos and their families, and last year they raised a large chunk of that number on the day of their airline miles drive.
The actual drive is on Wednesday, February 25th from 5AM – 11PM on WCCO-TV in Minnesota, but you can donate your miles online now.
They accept United, US Airways, Sun Country, and Delta miles. Once they miles are donated to Make-A-Wish they won’t expire. So, if you really are done with Delta and want to get rid of your SkyMiles, I know a good cause that wants those miles….
I know not everyone wants to donate their airline miles, but if you feel driven to send some to the Make-A-Wish chapter in Minnesota, a different local chapter, or the national Make-A-Wish Foundation, I’m sure they would appreciate it. Of course, they accept cold hard cash, too. The national site says they need 2.5 billion miles annually to grant wishes, and JetBlue miles are also accepted via the national site.
My family is so lucky to have been able to visit so many of the sites that Make-A-Wish kiddos hope to visit, and we have had the extreme fortune of doing it without having any serious illnesses. We know first hand just how quickly a serious illness for a child can totally change everything for a family. If a donation of miles or cash can help create a bright spot for a family during a time of serious illness for a child, I am 110% in support of that mission.