4x your miles donation for LGBTQ refugees worldwide
3:30 p.m. update: Rainbow Railroad blew past its donation goal of 500,000 miles in minutes, thanks to dozens of generous donors, but you can still contribute financially to the mission. Every dollar helps.
Brian Kelly, The Points Guy himself, has publicly shared his experiences traveling the world as an openly gay man. But many LGBTQ individuals in restrictive countries around the world live in fear of persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Outed individuals are sometimes ostracized, abused and even killed by homophobic people in their communities or by government officials.
Take 55-year-old Montgomery, who realized he was gay before he was 10 years old. For most of his life, Montgomery had to keep his sexuality private to protect himself and his family from brutal consequences from neighbors and from the Jamaican government itself. Even with all of his precautions, he still found himself brutally attacked several times before he was 25 years old — sometimes with beatings, sometimes with bullets.
Once Montgomery connected with rescue organizations like Rainbow Railroad for support, it only took a couple of short flights and a visa to get him safely out of Jamaica. But it took more than 30 years for Montgomery to receive the help he needed. And his needs aren't unique, nor are they specific to Jamaica. Rainbow Railroad has received more than 2,600 requests for help from asylum seekers this year. Many come from Chechnya, Egypt and Tanzania, Iran, Jamaica, Syria and Uganda, which are notoriously abusive toward LGBTQ individuals. Rainbow Railroad will only be able to help a small fraction of those people.
Visas, safety concerns and other logistical issues will always be a problem for Rainbow Railroad. But your miles can help defray the financial cost of travel for hundreds of desperate refugees. Whenever possible, Rainbow Railroad uses points and miles to book all travel. So the more we all give, the more people like Montgomery can escape their dangerous situations.
The Points Guy has partnered with United Airlines on Miles on a Mission: Through Dec. 30, United Airlines will match each mile you donate at a 1:1 ratio. And if you're feeling inspired, today's the perfect day to donate: You can quadruple your impact between 3-4 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 3, when United will match your miles at a whopping 3:1 ratio. In other words, your 10,000-mile donation can become 40,000 miles for Rainbow Railroad — a $520 value by our current valuations.
Quadruple your donation impact between 3-4 p.m. ET: Donate United MileagePlus miles to support Rainbow Railroad
If you don't have enough United miles on hand right now, don't fret: You've got another 27 days to donate. And as you continue your holiday shopping this season, you can use MileagePlus X to top up your account balance.