Announcing Gadling’s Facebook + Delta SkyMiles + Unicef Challenge

There are too many “like our Facebook feeds and win a prize” challenges out there, so today I’d like to try to change tack: instead of rewarding ourselves let’s empower others. Today, let’s raise Facebook likes for UNICEF.

Instead of asking AOL (our bosses) to step up to the plate, however, I’d like to lead by example. So as editor of this fine site I’ll dig into my personal SkyMiles account and donate one mile for every FB Like that Gadling gets today, May 10th 2012 (Update: We’ve extended the campaign until 11:59PM on Sunday, May 13th!).

Didn’t know about the SkyWish charities? It’s a program created by Delta Air Lines to empower frequent fliers to donate their miles to charitable organizations. Here’s more about UNICEF:

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world’s leading international children’s organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival.

There are a variety of different organizations to choose and benefactors can give as many miles as they can afford. In this case, I’ll give up to as many as I have remaining in my account, which is just under 9500 miles.

Other airlines also have similar programs such as Operation Hero Miles at American Airlines or the program at United.

Delta, for their part, has no knowledge of this transaction at this point, but if this picks up steam maybe we’ll ask them to match our contribution.

Head on over to Gadling’s Facebook Page to share your likes. We’ll post an updated tally at the end of the campaign.

Update: 2:08PM May 10th: Delta Air Lines just reached out to tell us that they’ll be matching our contributions to UNICEF mile for mile up to 100,000 miles! We’ll extend the promotion to 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 13th to take full advantage. Thanks for all of the likes!

Update 10:09AM May 11th: Arianna Huffington has agreed to match the donations by Delta Airlines and our team! Thanks Arianna!

Update: 11:29AM May 11th: Travel writing legend Nomadic Matt will be matching our donations with American Airlines miles. Follow him on twitter at @nomadicmatt.

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