Good Samaritan offers up frequent flier miles to help strangers get home for holidays

For many, the month of December includes quality time with loved ones, and one good Samaritan stepped in to help five strangers get home for the holidays.

Entrepreneur and author Peter Shankman posted about his Home for the Holidays initiative on Imgur, an online image sharing community, for the third year in a row, offering up his frequent flier miles to other users. Shankman’s initial post last month explained that he flies roughly 250,000 miles a year for his work as a corporate keynote speaker.

“Because of how much I fly, I have a TON of miles. I’m also a single father of a 5-year-old daughter — so the last thing I want to do when I’m home, is go somewhere,” Shankman told Yahoo Lifestyle via email. “Giving away my miles to send home those who can’t afford to get home themselves serves two purposes: It lets me do something good while teaching my daughter about giving, and also lets me stay home during what’s arguably the most hectic time of the year to travel. Everyone wins.”

He asked people who couldn’t afford to make it home for the holidays to create a new post and place it in the “Home for the Holidays” tag on Imgur. More than 400 people posted their stories. 

Shankman announced five winners last week in a new post explaining that others had also offered up their frequent flier miles to help people get to their loved ones. The winners were chosen by members of Imgur “upvoting” certain posts. One was a man who posted on behalf of his mom in the hopes that she could get to the cemetery in Georgia where her other son, an Army vet, was buried.

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“I would love more than anything to be able to take my mom there to place flowers on his grave and to see her granddaughter,” he wrote.

Another was a husband who posted for his wife, asking for help so she could say goodbye to her ailing grandfather. Shankman responded that he was going to try to gather enough miles to buy plane tickets for the couple’s kids too.

“We’ve gotta remember that we don’t really have anything else in the world but each other – so let’s try and take care of each other a little more, ok?” Shankman wrote.

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