Apex couple's frequent flier aid for Ukrainian refugees collects 3.6 million miles -- and counting

Joel Brown Image
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Apex couple's frequent flier aid for Ukrainian passes 3.6 million mark
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It has only been a week since an Apex husband and wife launched a social media campaign to donate loads of frequent-flier miles to Ukrainians trying to escape the war with Russia. The effort has taken flight in a big way.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- It has only been a week since Apex husband and wife, MG and Dawnna, started a campaign on Facebook offering to donate MG's gobs of business-earned frequent-flier miles to Ukrainians trying to escape the war with Russia. The effort has taken off in a way they never expected.

"We reached out to our followers thinking maybe they knew of a few people that may need help to escape the situation that we are seeing. And the response has been overwhelming," MG said. "It was so many people coming forward to say, 'Hey, I got this many miles that I'd like to donate.'

"Yesterday in a period of ten hours, we got over 1 million miles," he said

MG and Dawnna already had a large following on social media from the popular Christmas light show they put on at their house every year. And after Diane Wilson highlighted their humanitarian efforts for Ukraine -- the effort really took off. MG says as of Friday night, people have stepped up to donate 3.6 million frequent-flier miles.

ABC11 was there Tuesday night at RDU International Airport when Halyna Marchenko and her two children arrived to hugs after a flight from Kyiv -- paid for with thousands of MG's frequent-flier miles.

MG and Dawnna's Facebook page is now filling up with pleas for help. One woman posted about her friend's parents -- desperate for assistance to get out of southern Ukraine. There was another post about help getting an orphaned 6-year old adopted.

Back in Apex, MG and Dawnna are feverishly working through their inbox. On Friday, they put out a plea for a Ukrainian family using the miles to fly to south Florida - now in need of a place to stay. Responses came quickly.

"There's a Ukrainian community out there who said, 'Pick us! We're here!'," Dawnna said.

With their goodwill efforts in overdrive, MG also wanted to underline what he and his wife can't do: They don't have expertise in visas or passports. People need to have the proper paperwork to travel to whatever country they want to seek refuge in. And it doesn't have to be here in the U.S. The miles are being used to send people all over the world.

"Witnessing the human suffering that's taking place was not something that we could just sit and watch the news. Somehow we had to get involved and try to bring other people to join us," said MG. "It's a movement that we got going on."