Pointshogger contributor, Seth Stanton, who is a moderator on the /r/churning subreddit and creator of a charity called Miles4Migrants. He, like many of us, is also obsessed with collecting credit card points and airline miles. Today, Seth will share how Miles4Migrants came to be and how you can help!
Origin of Miles4Migrants
A year and a half ago I was about to write a post on Reddit regarding my most recent churning success. It was a pair of award tickets to fly first class from the US to Hong Kong, setting me back about 140,000 American Airlines miles. Before I made that post I noticed the most recent trending topic, in which someone had used about the same number of miles to fly an entire family to be reunited with their refugee father. I became obsessed with making this work on a larger scale, and with that idea in mind, Miles4Migrants was born.
We put our plans into motion a year ago with a request for pledged miles on /r/churning, and since then our little nonprofit charity has flown 77 people from 33 refugee families to safety in Europe using over 1.5 million donated frequent flyer miles and credit card points.
Current Status of Miles4Migrants
Our donors are mostly points and miles obsessives like you and me, and with their help we’ve enabled several fathers to meet their children for the first time, taken kids out of refugee camps to live with their parents again, and helped several Syrian families escape the war and get to safety. You can read some of our success stories at our website or on our Facebook page.
Our recipient families are referred to us by partner charities on the ground in Europe and the Middle East; they’ve been fully vetted by their new country and are ready to travel and be reunited with their loved ones, but they simply can’t afford their plane tickets.
We’re quite proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with individual donors covering entire bookings, but we’ve recently been approved by Aeroplan as a charity partner. This will allow us to pool smaller donations and make a bigger impact.
What you can do
So this is where I will appeal to your famous Canadian compassion. Your pledged miles will help more families have a new start. You can pledge any number of Aeroplan miles to us by following this link, and we’ll pool them together and use them to give refugee families a new start. Or you can pledge miles from any other program (or money to cover taxes/fees on award tickets) to us at our website here.
This is the first ever photo of this man with his youngest daughter; he got separated from his family before she was born.