And here on the Wish Nation blog, we’ll be featuring wish highlights of Land, Air and Sea – trips near and far that truly transform wish kids and their families. This is the story of what our incredible Air partners mean to us.
Make-A-Wish® depends on the services of the airline heroes who transport wish kids far away from hospital rooms, procedures and painful memories. These men and women help transform the lives of the wish kids by safely delivering them to destinations near and far – but they often find that these wish trips transform their lives too! Here’s what some employees with our airline partners have to say about being wish granters in the sky:
“We are so happy to play such an important role in making special memories for our wish families. Smiles at the ticket counter, a cart to get them to the gate, a special welcome onboard by the captain – you have no idea how far those things go. It is so special to these families and my favorite part of my job.”
- Wendy Regal, Wish Granter and Flight Attendant, American Airlines, O’Hare International Airport
“I absolutely adore it when I have a wish family on board. It is fun to see them light up knowing when they get off the plane they will be at their wish destination. It’s a special experience getting to be a part of their wish journey though Allegiant.”
- Brianna Hamilton, Flight Attendant, Allegiant, Orlando Sanford International Airport
“Giving a child the chance at hope is a small thing that we give in order to make a big difference. The best thing we can give every family is a smile and lots of laughs and care. Healing starts from the heart and the best way to heal the heart is happiness.”
- Evered Douglas, Senior Systems Engineer, Delta Airlines
“Make-A-Wish flights are some of my best experiences, because it truly is about a battle that these families have faced, and they’re moving on to bigger and brighter days.”
- Joanne Delessio, Crewmember, Jetblue
“We know we’re not just the ‘wheels’ that are taking [wish kids] to their wish destination – we are part of the memory that is being made. Our employees understand that too. They do all they can to make wish family travel a wonderful and memorable part of the journey. My favorite stories come from wish chapter CEOs who share pictures of airport send-offs and videos of gate celebrations.”
- Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; Make-A-Wish America National Board of Directors
“Granting a wish is something I never thought I’d be a part of. And when I was presented the opportunity to do it, I jumped on it immediately. It’s been everything I thought it would be and more … to see [a wish kid] light up … it’s been pretty incredible. I hope I get another opportunity to do it.”
- George Samaras, Airport Operations Coordinator, United Airlines
Make-A-Wish needs more than 2.8 billion miles, or 50,000 round-trip tickets, to cover every travel wish each year. When you donate your airline miles through the Wishes in Flight® program, families can leave behind the pain of a diagnosis and have the trip of a lifetime. Donating miles is just one of the many easy ways you can make an impact on the life of a wish family. Donate your unused miles or points NOW to help transform lives with a trip!
Photo: Deacon, 6, neuromuscular disorder, I wish to have an airplane adventure. Credit: Michelle McBeath
You can help us celebrate #TripsThatTransform by checking out our lnstagram to see all of the amazing places these partners help our wish families explore! And remember to stay tuned to Wish Nation through the month of August for wish trip stories of Land, Air and Sea. Read more about Make-A-Wish Travel Month here.