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Anyone who has had a connection with the military knows it’s not just the service member that serves. Friends and family who support their soldier serve in their own way as well. Fisher House Foundation started out helping to provide military families with housing close by when their loved one is receiving treatment for injury or illness, with the first Fisher House opening in 1991. They continue to do so and have expanded to do so much more.
Fisher House helps support the loved ones of military service members with travel, not only when the soldier is seeking treatment but also when they participate in other programs such as the Warrior Games and Invictus Games. As Kerri Childress, vice president of communications at Fisher House put it, “Families should be there for the great times too.”
The Fisher House Foundation got started by and continues to focus on building Fisher Houses, places for families to stay near VA hospitals where their service member is being treated. Their goal is to have a Fisher House at every major veterans hospital in the country. However, they also support families by covering airfare and providing hotel rooms when a Fisher House isn’t available.
There are lots of ways you can help, including by donating program rewards points or money. Fisher House Foundation has partnered with different airlines and hotels programs, allowing you to easily donate your miles or points.
The Hero Miles program provides service members and their families with round-trip airline tickets. The tickets are made possible through flight program rewards donations and monetary donations. However, since these tickets are usually the most expensive kind of airline tickets because they are last minute and open-ended, Childress said that Fisher House is in dire need of donations.
As Childress explains, “even 1,000 points helps. We also accept monetary donations directly to the Hero Miles program. One hundred percent of every monetary donation goes directly to the tickets.” Childress suggests that you look at points for airlines you don’t use regularly. The points sitting there are probably not enough for a trip you want to take, or it’s an airline you likely won’t use in the future, so those points could be donated to help make a difference.
Fisher House Foundation currently partners with five airlines, listed below. Childress mentioned that a partnership with Southwest is a goal for the future.
If you have points with any of the following airlines, consider donating them to the Fisher House Foundation.
There is a 1,000-mile minimum donation. To donate, go to the Alaska Airlines donation page, sign into your account, select Hero Miles, and enter how many miles you’d like to donate.
American Airlines has a 500-mile minimum donation threshold. You can donate by going to the donations page, selecting Miles for All Who Serve, signing in with your account information, and completing the requested donation information.
The donation minimum is 1,000 miles. To donate, select Hero Miles from the Delta Airline’s donation page. Proceed with your account information and the number of miles you wish to donate.
To donate through Frontier Airlines, you must contact the Early Returns Desk at 801-401-9000 and tell them you wish to donate to the Fisher House Foundation.
With United, there is a 500-mile minimum donation. Go to the United website, sign in, and go to the Mileage Plus Tab. You can then select “buy, transfer, or give miles” and choose “Donate miles.” Then select Fisher House Foundation | Hero Miles Program and enter the number of miles you want to donate.
If there is no Fisher House in the area, or the Fisher House is full, then the Fisher House Foundation provides families with free hotel rooms through the Hotels for Heroes program. These hotel rooms are only granted in the instance where a service member is receiving treatment, and free hotel room requests must be granted by the Department of Defense.
Fisher Foundation partners with several hotel groups — AmericInn, Best Western, Choice Hotels, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Marriott, and Wyndham. Similar to the Hero Miles program, you can choose to donate points or make a monetary donation for this specific program. Easy-to-find instructions to donate can be found on the Hotels for Heroes website and are briefly outlined below for six of the hotel groups.
With Best Western you can donate in increments of 500 points simply by going to their website, signing in, and entering the number of points you wish to donate.
You can donate in increments of 1,000 points by logging into your rewards account.
La Quinta Inns & Suites
By going to the La Quinta Inns & Suites donations page and signing in, you will be able to donate your points.
To donate, go to Marriott’s “Buy, Share, or Donate” page and sign in to your account. Enter your country to see the charities available. Scroll down to select Hotel for Heroes. You can donate in increments of 2,500 points.
You can donate Wyndham rewards points by clicking “redeem” in the Gift Card/Donate Points section of their redeem page. You will need to select “Charities” on the left to donate your points.
With over 25 million veterans across the country and continued military action, the need will only continue to grow for the Fisher House Foundation to act as a medical “safety net,” ensuring family will always be able to be with their loved one while they receive treatment. Fisher House Foundation relies on its donors not only to keep the mission of Fisher House going but also to help spread the word.
Fisher House Foundation currently has 72 Fisher Houses, working as a home away from home for military families. With an already recognized need for additional houses and active plans to build more, the Fisher House Foundation has a long way to go to reach the goals of their mission.
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