YOU ARE GOING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!9 months ago
IMPORTANT NOTE: We've tried to reach everyone listed below via the emails you gave us. In 19 hours, we've gotten seven responses. I'm going to assume this is because people don't check their emails anywhere near as much as we do, every four seconds. So here's the deal: We NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU BY TOMORROW MORNING. Email me or Meagan - peter at shankman.com or meagan at shankman.com. If we don't hear from you by tomorrow morning, we're going to have to give your ticket to someone else! So IF YOUR NAME IS BELOW, email us, check your SPAM folders, whatever you need to do - We want to send you home, but can't if you don't respond to us! If you've tried to respond and we haven't responded back, tweet me @petershankman - Do whatever you have to do, but get in touch so we can send you home!
OK. So that said, Meagan and I will say this: This was a LOT easier to do last year when we just gave away four flights.
What started as a nice, small idea took on a life of its own thanks to coverage from Good Morning America, the Huffington Post, and Business Insider. We never expected it to grow as big as it did as quickly as it did, and certainly weren't prepared for the flood of stories, flood of heartfelt emotions, and of course, flood of donations from people and companies all over the world that helped us grow to over 25 free trips home!! It truly inspires us, and we hope you too, about the goodness of people everywhere.
So... We wanted to be able to send every single person who entered home for the holidays - We really wish we could have - But of course, it wasn't possible. What we were able to do, however, was send a much, much larger number of people home, plus lay the groundwork this year for what we hope can be a really bigger event next year.
Before we list the winners, we want to thank everyone who kicked in donations, products, and miles of their own to help us make this as big as it is. First off, all the thanks in the world to JetBlue and Morgan Johnston for their incredible donation of ten flights home on the JetBlue route network! Truly a wonderful thing JetBlue did, and kudos to them for understanding that in the end, it's about doing the right thing.
Those who selflessly kicked in and donated their own frequent flier miles, including Brett, Laura, Richy, Rebecca, Rob, Adam, Ty, Harlan, Helen, Melissa, Mark, Cassie, Jeannie, and Mindy. We're in a special family of road warriors, and it's wonderful to see how we jump up and help when the need arises.
Thanks to Scott Jordan and Lauren Bourgeau at ScotteVest for their donation of Puffer Jackets, Steve Frischling at Flying With Fish for MagicJack donations, Katie Dally at TripIt, and Jill Solomon at Groundlink for rides from the airport. Truly decent of all of you, and I'll continue to be a loyal supporter.
Finally, thank you to Patrick, Andrew, Jen, Alison, Teri, Gina, and Erin for donations to help cover the taxes and fees. Selfless and truly decent of you. Thank you. :) Any money that doesn't get used on taxes and fees will go to Best Friends Animal Society, a charity close to all of our hearts.
Of course, I couldn't have done this at all without Meagan Walker, the best assistant known to man. For 5.5 years, you've been the one thing that's kept me in orbit, and prevented me from spinning out into the universe and crashing into other planets. For that, I can never thank you enough.
OK! Now onto the winners! Click on their names if you'd like to read their stories. And remember: If you're on this list, and we haven't heard from you yet, you have until tomorrow morning to email us. If we don't hear from you by 11am Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, we'll have to give your ticket to someone else!
Now then: YOU PEOPLE BELOW: YOU'RE GOING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!! These were the names you chose as your comment names. You know who you are. :) Let's hear from you, if we haven't already!
Again - We're glad we can do this - And next year, we hope to make it even bigger. Thank you to all who were involved - As always, if anyone would like to pick a random commenter from the original blog post who we couldn't choose, and send them home on your own miles, just get in touch with us and we'll make it happen!
Finally - To all - HAPPY HOLIDAYS! May your holiday season be filled with light, love, laughter, and peace.
Peter Shankman and Meagan Walker - New York City, December 10th, 2013, 4:06pm.