Long View has a strong history and culture of social consciousness and giving back. Kevin Crowe, Long View’s EVP of Strategy, is one of the people leading the way. Kevin founded the charity Give a Mile after experiencing firsthand the power of visit during palliative illness for a loved one, and how much love and support those visits bring. The story of Give a Mile began with Kevin, and is continually made possible by the dedicated time of volunteers, many of who are from right here at Long View.
How did Give a Mile get started?
The Give a Mile story starts with Ryan Westerman, who was an amazing friend to Kevin and many at Long View. Ryan was dealing with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Over the course of a year and a half of the progression of the disease, Ryan’s friends and family celebrated his positivity and life. From hockey games to hospice poker nights, that quality time showed Kevin what he calls “the power of visit”. Friends and family came from all over to spend time with Ryan and they were able to say goodbye in person. The time at the hospice Kevin realized there were a significant number of people that had to say goodbye to their loved ones over the phone.
After Ryan’s passing, Kevin decided he wanted to do something positive to continue Ryan’s amazing legacy and push it forward. Around the same time, Kevin heard a statistic about how 14 trillion travel miles had gone unused in 2011globally and wanted to do something about it., After attending a Calgary Startup Workshop, a facilitator inspired him to share his idea for Give a Mile and three days later, the project began.
“You realize you only have so much time, and you need to use it for things that are meaningful and powerful.” With 360 flights provided so far, Kevin has watched some amazing stories unfold, and seen the different reasons people want to say goodbye in person. Give a Mile hasn’t just helped loved ones reach each other, it’s also created opportunities for reconnecting, reconciliation, amends, and a chance for people to live the positive example set by Ryan.
How do people needing a flight connect with Give a Mile?
Mainly through social workers, cancer centers and hospices. Demand is high and there are so many compelling stories out there, so Give a Mile doesn’t generally advertise in order to manage the volume of requests.
What happens when someone reaches out for travel support?
Give a Mile has a straightforward application, medical verification process, followed by processing by the Give a Mile flight review team – because of the nature of these situations, all of this often happens within 72 hours but within 24 hours in emergency situations.
What do the coming years look like for Give a Mile?
So far 12.3 million miles have been given away, and the goal is to reach a billion miles. Give a Mile also has a program called Flight Hero, where people raise travel miles for a specific flight through the model “25 days, 25 friends, 25,000 miles”. Through 100% volunteer effort and public support, Give a Mile is on track of giving away a billion miles!
For more information on this amazing cause and how you can donate, please visit www.giveamile.org
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