Girl with hair loss from fighting childhood cancer.

WHY IT RATES: Make August the month that you finally decide what to do with those unused and expiring airline miles and points, and put them towards fulfilling the transformational-travel dreams of children who are battling critical illnesses. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer

Today, Make-A-Wish kicks off Trips That Transform, a month-long celebration of the approximately 12,000 wishes for children battling critical illnesses in the U.S. and its territories each year that involve travel and the donors that make them possible.

Life-changing wishes like 6-year-old Maksim’s wish to go to Hawaii, which led to an unforgettable week spent relaxing on the beach, searching the shore for shark teeth and, most importantly, quality time for his family to simply focus on each other.

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“Maksim’s wish was a chance to pause life’s responsibilities and focus on fun and family,” Maksim’s parents said. “Being granted time away like this brought tears to our eyes.”

With 75 percent of wishes requiring air travel, Make-A-Wish needs almost three billion airline miles and points to fulfill travel wishes for children battling critical illnesses each year.

“Right now, we are only able to grant wishes for one out of every two eligible children,” said Richard K. Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Travel wishes are waiting – and their fulfillment is dependent on the ongoing generosity of individual and corporate donors who contribute their unused airline miles, expiring travel points and dollars.”

Once donated to Make-A-Wish, airline miles and points never expire, and each goes on to help wish kids and their families take flight to destinations around the world. Travelers can donate airline miles and points from American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, today, at

Throughout August, Make-A-Wish will also celebrate the generous national travel sponsors who help make impactful wishes possible. Sponsors like Allegiant Air, Airbnb, Avis and many others, whose contributions of mission-critical resources allow wish kids and their families the much-needed escape from the reality of battling a critical illness.

“Travel wishes are more than a trip, they are often an important component of a wish kid’s treatment plan,” continued Davis. “We are extremely grateful for all of our national travel partners, which each play a vital role in giving children a world of hope when they need it most through transformational wish trips.”

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SOURCE: Make-A-Wish press release.