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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re spending it like I am with family and friends about to munch on turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, pie, and as few veggies as possible. This is absolutely my favorite holiday of the year.

Several years ago when traveling became such a part of my identity, I started saying I was “thankful I live at a time when I can get almost anywhere in the world within a day” at the what-are-you-thankful-for pre-dinner grace. And I can get there basically for free on a flying bed too nowadays!

This year I’m thankful for that and for all my readers. This guerrilla campaign I’m waging to educate people about the smartest ways to earn and redeem miles is catching on more than I could have anticipated.

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about how lucky I am for a variety of reasons, and I think about how I can give back, even if it’s just a little bit. One way is to donate miles to a variety of worthy causes.

If you have orphaned miles or an odd lot of miles, or you just think someone else could use a few miles more than you could, I encourage you to donate today before your feast.

The Make-A-Wish foundation which grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions accepts Delta, United, and US Airways miles to use when flying the kids and their families to their wish.

Delta and US miles can be donated RIGHT HERE in 1,000 mile minimums while as few as 500 United miles can be donated.

American Airlines allows donations of at least 500 miles to Operation Hero Miles RIGHT HERE. These miles will go toward flying families of wounded vets to military hospitals.

AA also allows donations of at least 1,000 miles to “miles for kids in need” RIGHT HERE. I think this is an in-house AA charity that coordinates with other childrens’ charities.

United has a very long list of charities that you can donate Mileage Plus miles to RIGHT HERE. The list includes cancer, children’s, veteran’s, homeless, and other charities.

US Airways’ list of charities to which you can donate is RIGHT HERE.

Delta has a very long list of charities to which you can donate SkyMiles RIGHT HERE. It includes a ton of reputable charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, Nature Conservancy, Salvation Army and many more.

I couldn’t find a way to donate Southwest Rapid Rewards or Virgin Atlantic miles, so please comment about other ways to donate miles and points if you know of some beyond what I’ve mentioned.

I’ve donated some odds and ends miles to a few of my favorite charities, nothing too huge, but I’m glad I could do a little.

I did think for a minute about whether there was a “best way” to donate miles. From what I read online, the miles have to be used in accordance with regular mile redemption rules (so maybe I should be donating my Award Booking Service time instead.) So I don’t think there is necessarily a way to help charities the most with your miles.

But I definitely recommend donating orphaned miles if you can’t use the trick to maximize their value I offered earlier this week in How to Get 8x on You Credit Card Spend.

Mile donations are not tax deductible, but don’t let that stop you.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving full of good food, family, and friends from everyone at MileValue.

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