Aeroplan today announced that its members have donated more than 6 million miles as part of “Aeroplan Match Days” with the following Aeroplan Beyond Miles partners: Médecins Sans Frontières, Schools Without Borders, the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Veterinarians Without Borders. Aeroplan matched member donations to bring the total amount to 12 million miles that have gone directly to these Canadian charities. This is equivalent to approximately 100 international flights, 800 hotel stays or 2,400 daily car rentals.
The Beyond Miles program enables Aeroplan Members to donate miles online at www.aeroplan.com/donate to eight exceptional Canadian charities that are committed to improving lives and enriching communities across Canada and abroad. Since the program was launched in May 2006, more than 145 million Aeroplan Miles have been donated by members. This year, Aeroplan launched Aeroplan Match Days to allow each Beyond Miles partner organization to select and promote one day in the year when Aeroplan would match all donations for a 24 hour period.
“We wanted to do something special with our Beyond Miles partners during this economically challenging year by encouraging our members to join us in providing an extra boost in support to these important Canadian charities,” said Vince Timpano, President, Aeroplan. “Our members have shown that they can make a difference by simply donating some of their miles and we’re thrilled with the response our partners received. We want to thank our members for their generosity as we proudly match all miles donated.”
Most recently the Stephen Lewis Foundation participated in a Mile Matching Day, raising 1.9 million miles to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2009. Aeroplan matched each mile donated.
“We are so grateful for the support of Aeroplan and its members who have donated miles to help make our work possible,” said Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. “Miles donated on December 1st will be used to facilitate the first-ever African Grandmothers’ Gathering in Swaziland this spring, as well as facilitate field visits, build relationships with community-based HIV/AIDS projects in 15 African countries and bring the voices of grassroots leaders to the forefront.”
On November 5, 2009, more than 3.2 million Aeroplan Miles were donated by members to Médecins Sans Frontières. Schools Without Borders succeeded in raising almost 2 million miles on November 16, 2009. In June, in the first application of this new idea, Veterinarians Without Borders raised 500,000 miles. All miles donated were matched by Aeroplan and 100 per cent of the miles went to these organizations. During these campaigns, Beyond Miles partners have made creative use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube to spread the word and encourage participation.
On December 11, 2009, Engineers Without Borders will be the next partner to hold their Aeroplan Match Day followed by Earth Day Canada on December 15, Air Canada’s Kids’ Horizons on December 16 and War Child Canada on December 18, 2009.
Beyond Miles partners use Aeroplan Miles to offset costs related to travel by air as well as hotel accommodations and car rentals. Aeroplan offsets 100 per cent of all carbon emissions from flights taken by Beyond Miles partners using miles donated to them via the Beyond Miles program. Aeroplan employees also have an opportunity to support the charitable partners through employee engagement trips. These trips are designed to inspire employees and raise awareness of the important projects Aeroplan’s Beyond Miles partners are working on around the world. To date, employees have travelled to more than 10 destinations including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines and Rio de Janeiro.
In addition, Aeroplan also has a Charitable Pooling program that allows members to use miles to support individuals, families or local grass roots charities in need. 100 per cent of the donated miles go directly to these individuals and groups. Members have pooled more than 45 million miles into over 300 pooling accounts across the country.