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WWE Star John Cena and United Airlines Will Match Your Miles Donation to Make A Wish

by on April 3, 2013 · 6 comments

in Charity Opportunities, United

For over 30 years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has become one of the world’s most famous charities thanks to efforts to make the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions come true, and to celebrate that wonderful mission, April 29 marks World Wish Day.

John Cena's donating miles to help out Make-A-Wish.

John Cena’s donating miles to help out Make-A-Wish.

To celebrate, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has launched a special nationwide campaign to raise money and airline miles to pay for airline tickets for wishes that involve travel, and WWE star John Cena is helping out.

Almost 75% of the wishes Make-A-Wish receives involve air travel. That translates to 50,000 airline tickets worth 2.5 billion airline miles, or $37.5 million in costs for the foundation as it strives to grant each of the 14,000 wishes it is able to each year.

So during the month of April those who wish to contribute to this worthy cause can donate either dollars or frequent flyer miles by visiting wish.org/tickets, and John Cena will personally match every frequent flyer mile donated up to 4.5 million (apparently he’s quite the jetsetter!).

John Cena's going to get really angry if you don't donate!

John Cena’s going to get really angry if you don’t donate!

It’s not just a personal crusade, though. WWE is also pitching in by promoting World Wish Day over all its media, from TV, digital, social media and live events to help raise the funds and miles.

Not only that, but United Airlines is also chipping in by matching the donations of MileagePlus members’ airline miles up to 3 million miles now through April 30.

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 6.27.03 PM

You know I love the opportunity to double-dip, so think about contributing United miles because it sounds like they’ll get matched by both John Cena and United Airlines, so one mile becomes three.

While I generally would rather donate money because it is tax deductible and donating miles is not, if you’ve got more miles than you use and want to feel good about a donation, or if you have an account with only a few thousand miles, this may be the time to donate instead of letting them expire or sit orphaned for a long time.

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  • Keith

    Brian, I’m a big John Cena fan. He’s a great guy and a fantastic role model. I’m glad you posted this.

  • vortix

    Question: when donating miles to a non-profit like Make-A-Wish, does the non-profit receive miles that they then redeem for award tickets, or are the miles converted to cash at some pre-determined ratio for the non-profit to use to purchase revenue tickets?

  • Jeff

    The miles are used to redeem for airline tickets. One of the biggest expenses in fulfilling wishes is the travel, especially with last minute travel (which can happen when fulfilling wishes). So it’s very helpful for Make A Wish to have a bank of miles available.

  • vortix

    Thanks for the clarification. Does Make-A-Wish typically redeem for Saver awards (25k miles for domestic roundtrips), or anytime awards (50k miles)? Does the non-profit have to pay close-in booking fees when redeeming for last minute travel, or do the airlines waive these fees?

    Just curious how this works.

  • Jeff

    I’ll be honest, that I don’t know. Sorry!

  • Pingback: Travel Tuesday Top 10: Charity Donations Using Points and Miles | The Points Guy

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