TripIt and Make-A-Wish: Unused Miles Make Dreams Come True [VIDEO]

Lindsey (LaManna) Makela

What I love about the holidays isn’t the gifts, the beautiful decorations, and the time off from work (although those are really nice perks). It’s that this is the most selfless time of the year. We think about gifts to make our loved ones happy, reflect on all the things we are thankful for, and make a special effort to help out those who are less fortunate.

This generosity applies at the corporate level as well, as employees bring their passion for giving into the workplace and companies provide the support to amplify the impact. It’s a beautiful thing.

What happens when companies step in

Companies have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact through employee volunteer programs and donations of funds, technology, goods and services to non-profits and social causes. They can also leverage their brand reach to build awareness of critical social issues. For example, the company I work for, SAP, just finished up its annual Month of Service held in October and recently launched the One4 project in partnership with the rock band Imagine Dragons to support refugee relief efforts, among various other corporate social responsibility programs.

While I like to focus on the altruistic reasons why companies dedicate time and money to social engagement, there are compelling business reasons to support it as well:

Making wishes come true this holiday season

There are countless corporate social responsibility programs that do a world of good, but the best ones are those that  leverage the passion of their and the fundamentals of their business to give back. Here’s one example:

TripIt from Concur, the world’s highest-rated travel organizing app, recognized that it can give back by not only making travel easier for people, but by partnering with Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. For the third year in a row, TripIt is helping donate unused airline miles to help grant life-saving wishes.

The opportunity for TripIt to help is clear:

  • More than 74% of these Make-A-Wish submissions will include travel—that’s 2.5 billion airline miles and more than 50,000 round-trip tickets needed to fulfill this mission.
  • Two-thirds of travelers have had miles or reward points expire before they could be used.

Every 38 minutes, Make-A-Wish turns a seriously ill child’s wish into a life-changing experience. In the past two years, TripIt users have helped raise 1 million miles for Make-A-Wish.

This year, the company is doubling down and setting out to raise at least 2 million miles to help children’s wishes take flight. Instead of letting their airline miles go unused or expire, travelers can now donate select frequent flier miles to Make-A-Wish’s Wishes in Flight® program. Donated miles will never expire and are used by Make-A-Wish to support wishes across the country.

Last year, TripIt helped Mackenna (Kenna) achieve her wish of traveling to Australia to meet the bone marrow donor who saved her life. Kenna has had a remarkable journey: At 13, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The only way to treat Kenna’s condition was to put her on an aggressive treatment, which included taking chemotherapy pills that fought her colitis but could also cause cancer. Three years later, while still dealing with treatment for colitis, Kenna’s family received the dreadful news that Kenna had leukemia. At this point, the chemo could control the illness, but Kenna’s life depended on finding a bone marrow donor. They found one halfway across the world in Australia.

“I want to tell him in person how thankful I am,” said Kenna. “He saved my life. He is my hero. To give someone else a second chance is the most selfless thing in the world.”

Thanks to TripIt and generous donations of miles, Kenna’s wish came true.

Visit http://sf.wish.org/content/tripit to learn more and donate your unused or expiring miles today.  

Also, this holiday season, give yourself and others the gift of stress-free travel with TripIt Pro. TripIt Pro offers instant organization tools and indispensable real-time alerts that will make your holiday travel easy. SAP and TripIt are offering a special deal of $39/year (20% discount). Click here to learn more.


Lindsey (LaManna) Makela

About Lindsey (LaManna) Makela

Lindsey Makela is a Content Marketing Manager at SAP. Her specialties include digital marketing, marketing strategy, and communications.