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Earlier this year, I was shocked and saddened to learn about the gay concentration camps in Chechnya. Even though we’re living in 2017, the terrifying reality is that people in many parts of the world are facing persecution just for being who they are. So when I heard that LGBT people in Chechnya were being killed, I knew we had to do something. So, we teamed up with Rainbow Railroad, even co-hosting a float at the Pride Parade in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness.

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I’m thrilled to report that with your help, we’ve surpassed our goal of two million miles since teaming up with Rainbow Railroad — an incredible organization that assists LGBT people in seeking asylum from places where they’re at risk of death and imprisonment. In addition to the miles donated, TPG readers have donated nearly $10,000 to support the work of Rainbow Railroad, and I’ve personally matched that $10,000 for a total of $20,000 to this lifesaving cause. So what does this mean? Your donations have saved 21 human lives in Chechnya.

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Even though we’ve surpassed our goal of two million miles, the fight isn’t over. Rainbow Railroad still needs our help to accumulate points and miles so they can send even more LGBT people to other countries where they can seek asylum. We’ve since increased our goal to 2.5 million miles and we need your help. The best way to donate is with your Aeroplan miles. If you don’t have any in your account, remember that you can transfer them instantly — and as few as 1,000 points, which equates to 1,000 Aeroplan miles that’ll go directly toward Rainbow Railroad — at a 1:1 ratio from American Express Membership Rewards.

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Alternatively, if you don’t have any Aeroplan miles or American Express Membership Rewards points, you can still make the following transfers from other hotel points programs to Aeroplan:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest: Starpoints transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 ratio.
    • 1,000 Starpoints = 1,000 Aeroplan miles
    • For every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, you’ll get a 5,000-point bonus.
  • Hilton Honors: Honors points transfer to Aeroplan at a 10:1 ratio.
    • 10,000 Honors points = 1,000 Aeroplan miles
  • Marriott Rewards: Varying ratio, depending on the amount of points transferred.
    • 10,000 Marriott points = 2,000 Aeroplan miles
    • 20,000 Marriott points = 5,000 Aeroplan miles
    • 30,0000 Marriott points = 10,000 Aeroplan miles
    • 70,000 Marriott points = 25,000 Aeroplan miles
    • 140,000 Marriott points = 50,000 Aeroplan miles

I love the TPG community. Your generosity toward those in need is greatly inspiring. Please consider donating whatever you can — points or money. Peoples’ lives depend on it.

Featured image courtesy of Justin Tallis via Getty Images.

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