Through their Miles on a Mission crowdsourcing platform, United is matching donations to various charities.

By Alison Fox
May 05, 2020
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Even though Giving Tuesday is typically a few days after Thanksgiving, the holiday has come a bit early this year due to COVID-19  — and United Airlines getting involved.

In partnership with initiative #GivingTuesdayNow, United Airlines will match donations made through its Miles on a Mission crowdsourcing platform. Through the platform, people can donate their miles to various charities like Project HOPE, which is delivering PPE and medical equipment to health workers communities in need, and Rise Against Hunger, which distributes food to vulnerable populations.

"In this time of crisis, essential travel is critical for many like veterans, domestic violence victims, and others needing to reunite with family or otherwise find shelter during COVID-19," the airline's Vice President and Chief Community Engagement Officer, Sharon Grant, said in a statement. "We are proud to provide a platform for organizations helping to meet this need and match donations our members contribute to these critical causes."

United is also matching donations of up to 500,000 miles for essential travel.

In the past, GivingTuesday has had a big impact. Last year, $2 billion was donated in the U.S. alone, according to organizers.

“For eight years, GivingTuesday has celebrated grassroots generosity, and has built a movement that empowers millions of people to give, engage their communities, and find common ground,” chairman of the board for GivingTuesday, Rob Reich, said. “We are all confronting the same challenge right now, we need the giving spirit more than ever.”

This is not the first time an airline has stepped up to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. Last month, United employees started making weekly wellness calls to check on seniors, and the carrier has flown medical workers across the country to help in the coronavirus fight. Similarly, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have donated leftover food that would have been served on board.