As I wrote last week, my main charity donation this holiday season was a two-parter. I donated approximately 100 designer handbags I had purchased during October’s amazing deal where you could earn 35 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at eBags.com to Housing Works, an organization in New York City which gives housing, medical, and legal support to those who are homeless and living with HIV & AIDS.
Then I gave one million AAdvantage miles that I earned from the purchase were given to Kids In Need, a program run by American Airlines that helps numerous charities helping to improve the lives of children around the world. My favorite kind of way to maximize miles is by double-dipping!
One of the causes that will benefit from the mileage donation is the Snowball Express – a charity that helps the children and families of our fallen military heroes and treats them to a weekend of holiday fun and wonderful memories.
I was thrilled to be invited to come along on the Snowball Express this yea. The charter I’m on is picking up families in Nashville and Little Rock before taking place in Dallas-Ft. Worth this weekend with over 2,000 children and spouses of fallen military members. Here are my thoughts on the events, then read on below for what I plan on doing while involved this weekend.
I met up with some of the American Airlines/ Snowball Express team in Nashville last night, and we’re already on our way to Texas with a wonderful group of people including Captain Jim Palmershein, American’s Director of Veteran’s Affairs and one of the oldest board members of Snowball Express. He filled me in on what Snowball Express is all about and what to expect.
Basically all of Dallas-Ft. Worth really pulls together for this amazing event. The kids get a Presidential-style motorcade and the city shuts down the main highway for them, so I can’t wait to see that.
Before now, I have been a bit skeptical of donating miles to charities sometimes because I’m never sure exactly where they’re going, but Jim took the time to tell me personally that my million-mile donation allowed families that don’t live in cities that are getting charter jets, to come. There was a wait list for the event this year, but my donation allowed American to clear several families and get them to Dallas for the weekend – and that is truly an amazing feeling that beats flying any first class I’ve been in.
I really encourage people to donate miles if nothing else – they absolutely go to an amazing cause. The one downside is that those families might now have to listen to me sing Christmas carols on the charter (which I’m afraid might damage ear drums!).
Apart from my warbling, the weekend has a lot of exciting events in store, including a Neiman Marcus event, movie screenings, musical performances, coffee get-togethers, a parade, a concert by Gary Sinise (who is an instrumental Snowball Express supporter) and his Lt. Dan Band at the Zoo, and more.
I can’t wait to enjoy and help out with as many of the fun events as possible, so I hope that you’ll follow along with me on Twitter and Instagram and Snowball Express on Facebook so you can see what we get up to this weekend and what Snowball Express is all about.
And in the meantime, if you’d like to to contribute to Kids In Need, Operation Hero Miles or Snowball Express please visit the links below where you can make a donation, sponsor a child, or find out about volunteer opportunities.
Donate Your Miles: Miles can be donated to Operation Hero Miles to help bring home America’s heroes or Miles for Kids in Need. A minimum donation of 1,000 miles is required. Members who have an available balance of less than 1,000 miles may donate their entire balance.
Make a Contribution: Donations can be submitted online by credit card or by mailing in a check to Snowball Express c/o Amegy Bank Dept D8256 P.O Box 650002 Dallas, Texas 75265-0002.
Sponsor a Child Program: $250 will help bring one child to attend this event that honors and celebrates their hero. This amount helps cover everything for four days including food, lodging, entertainment, transportation, and more.
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