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Mar 19, 2012 8:07 PM

You can donate airline miles to help the 'Make a Wish' Foundation

(NBC) - The "Make A Wish foundation" wants to make you an offer: donate some of your Frequent Flier miles, and you'll have the immeasurable joy of making sick young boys and girls very happy.

"Make A Wish" now makes it possible to donate to a worthy charity using miles.

Every time a plane takes off someone is earning frequent flier miles. And those miles have a way of piling up.

But what if you have more miles than you need or would like to donate your miles to a good cause?

The folks at "Make A Wish have an idea.

(sot, make a wish)
"Airline miles are the biggest way that people can help make a wish," says Chris Sichel with "Make A Wish." "It's what we spend more money on than anything else."

So "Make A Wish" has worked out a deal with four major airlines: United, Continental, Delta and US Air, to be able to accept and use donated frequent flyer miles, and they come in handy.

"Nearly 70 percent of the wishes that we grant involve some form of travel," Sichel says."

This year, "Make A Wish" San Diego hopes to send about 115 families on flights to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Those trips can come from donated miles. In fact, the average trip takes 160,000 frequent flyer miles.

"Your donation of airline miles will allow us to send a child where they dream about going to," Sichel says. "Whether it's here in California, or someplace the other side of the world."

So, what if your airline miles are about to expire? Well the good news for "Make A Wish": that's not a problem.

"Even if they're ready to expire and the airlines will let us use them for as long as it take," Sichel says.

A donation to make a wish must be at least one thousand miles. But they are able to bank those miles, adding them to other donations to offer a child in need a memorable wish. One very common question... Are those donated miles tax deductible?

"Unfortunately the IRS doesn't recognize them as deductible, but there's a feeling you get when you donate your miles to make a wish that's better than the deduction," Sichel says.

For more information on donating your Frequent Flyer Miles, visit:


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