How donating airline miles can make a sick child's wish come true

Courtesy: Make-A-Wish Montana

MISSOULA - If you have spare airline miles through a Delta or United member program, you can help make wishes come true for kids like Willow, a 7-year-old girl from Montana who wanted to meet dolphins.

Make-A-Wish Montana is encouraging people to donate their airline miles and points to help make sick children's wishes come true.

It's part of the Trips That Transform campaign throughout the month of August.

About 80 percent of wishes require air travel and Make-A-Wish Montana needs more than 12 million airline miles and points to fulfill travel wishes for children battling critical illnesses each year.

An example of a life-changing wish was 7-year-old Willow’s wish to go to Florida to swim with dolphins. The Kalispell girl, who is diagnosed with optic cancer, spent an unforgettable week with her family playing on the beach, learning about dolphin research and exploring the Everglades.

"We're completely funded by donations by Montana folks, and that money stays in Montana for Montana kids," said Douglas Koester, Make-A-Wish Montana CEO.

Another benefit - airline miles donated to nonprofits don't expire, even if they are about to expire in your account.

Travelers can donate airline miles and points from United Airlines and Delta Airlines at

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