UPDATE: Peter Shankman has posted the winners of his amazing “Home for the Holidays” offer. He writes that he was originally hoping to send two to four people home using his extra frequent flyer miles, but after more users with extra miles contributed at Abroaders, he is excited to announce that 10 lucky people will be flown home to be with their families. Over 120 Imgurians contributed their stories, and Shankman let others vote for the winners.
The top winner of a round trip ticket is a father who lives 1,000 miles away from his 5-year-old son, who is level 3 on the autism spectrum. He scrapes by to send his son money every month, and video chats with him twice a week. Now, he’ll be able to be with his son on Christmas.
Another winner is a teacher who has had a tough ride since graduating college, even living out of her car for awhile. She finally got a great teaching job, but then she was diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare parasite that causes severe pain, blindness, and inability to function. The medical bills have racked up, and she hasn’t seen her family since she graduated college. But now, thanks to Shankman and other generous donations, she’ll finally be with her family.
You can read the rest of the winners’ touching stories here.
And as if this story wasn’t heartwarming enough, the folks at Abroaders decided to keep their donations page open until this Friday, so even more people could be getting a flight home for the holidays.
The holiday season means lots of families will be traveling to see friends and family, and we all know that doesn’t come cheap. It’s by far the busiest time of the year for airplane travel, and entrepreneur and single dad Peter Shankman knows a thing or two about this, as he travels a lot for business
And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. “This year, I flew more than I ever have before, and am probably going to close the year out with about 350,000 actual flown miles,” he wrote in a post on Imgur. “For comparison, the moon is 238,000 miles away.
Wow. That sounds so exhausting.
Last year, he gave away his extra frequent flyer miles, and he’s doing it again this year. He wrote on Imgur that even after giving away miles to his assistant, friends, and family, he still has plenty to spare.
The bottom line? If you can’t afford it, he wants to give you the miles to fly home for the holidays.
And he won’t even be choosing who gets them. He’s letting the users on Imgur do that. Simply create a post in his “Home for the Holidays” category on Imgur, and the post with the most upvotes from other users will win.
“I’d like to send at least two, (hopefully three or four or more) Imgurians home for the holidays this year, because I like making people smile,” he wrote. “I’m not going to choose who wins. You are. The authors of the posts in the Home for the Holidays category with the most upvotes will go home. It’s that simple.”
He wants to offer his miles to the users of Imgur as a thank you for getting him through the exhausting and stressful year of traveling.
“This has been an interesting year for me,” he wrote. “In the end, I’m just a single dad who’s gone through some great stuff and some crappy stuff, but no matter how lonely I was on the road, or how many times I was delayed, the one thing I could count on to make me smile was Imgur. So here’s hoping I can say thanks for that by helping a few of you out.”
Shankman’s post on Imgur has been viewed over 800k times, and has over 36k upvotes. He also encouraged other people with extra miles to spare to donate as well, just continuing the awesome charity. The stories have been piling in on the Home for the Holidays page, vying for his generous offer. Each one is more touching and heartbreaking than the last. All families deserve to be together during the holidays, I just can’t wait to see who wins the amazing generosity of this kind man.
The opportunity to submit your stories ends Friday night, and he said he’ll be announcing the lucky winners on Monday.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed!