United Airlines Miles on a Mission

The Patch Works Art & History Center Invites United Airlines MileagePlus Members to Donate Miles to Help Support Jacob’s Journey – Discovering the Origins of a 19th- Century American Dreamer.

From November 30th to December 28th, 2021!

Atlanta, GA – November 30, 2021 – Starting today, MileagePlus® members can help The Patch Works Art & History Center raise miles to help support Jacob’s Journey – Discovering the Origins of a 19th-Century American Dreamer through United’s crowdsourcing program, Miles on a MissionSM. With the Miles On a Mission program, The Patch Works intends to document 19th-century industrialist Jacob Elsas’ developmental years, by traveling back to his German homeland and digging deeply into his roots. After all, his “origin story” might reflect similar tales of other successful immigrants, who not only attain financial prosperity in the United States, but also pioneer new methods and practices that forever change the country’s landscape.

“This Giving Tuesday marks a special occasion for us to come together to support and uplift those who need it the most this holiday season and beyond,” Suzi Cabo, managing director of global community engagement, United Airlines. “We’re proud to offer our MileagePlus members a meaningful way to use their miles for good and provide critically needed air travel to a variety of non-profits that serve vulnerable communities across the globe.”

Suzi Cabo, Managing Director of Global Community Engagement, United Airlines

The Patch Works Art & History Center is aiming to raise 250,000 miles, which will help support The Patch Works’ broader mission: to preserve, sustain, and maintain the historical identity, relevance, and integrity of Atlanta’s Cabbagetown – a resurging, 19th-century mill-town community impacted by major urban development – through exhibits of history and local art, and community-based public programs. United will provide an additional 50,000 bonus miles to The Patch Works once the mile raising goal is reached.

“At a time when countries across the world debate whether or not to accept immigrants, it’s important to recognize the backstories of these people, most of whom are simply searching for a better life. They may be running from war, poverty, and other hardships, and the arduous journey is often made out of desperation,” said Jake Elsas, Executive Director of The Patch Works. “Without a backstory, it’s easy for others to view an immigrant as simply a faceless and nameless stereotype, but there’s always a specific reason people make the difficult decision to uproot themselves. The Patch Works Art & History Center focuses heavily on the issues of displacement, whether it’s by choice or by force. The people who originally settled and worked in Cabbagetown did so because they sought a hopeful future, and so they moved here – whether it was from Europe or from Appalachia – and for 100 years this goal was achieved.”

Jake Elsas, Executive Director of The Patch Works Art & History Center

The man behind Cabbagetown’s century-long story is Jacob Elsas: an immigrant from what is now Germany. Although he became one of the South’s most-successful 19th-century industrialists, he came from humble beginnings, not unlike many of today’s immigrants who currently seek a new life in a new land. An immigrant’s origin story needs to be told, and that is why The Patch Works wants to return to the source of Jacob’s formative years. His story, in many ways, could reflect present-day immigrants, whose motivations often get overlooked by politics and local biases. By donating your miles to our endeavor, The Patch Works can delve deeply into Jacob’s origin story and document the environment that shaped his decisions, which in turn might help others better understand the forces that drive immigration even in today’s world.

The Miles on a Mission program allows MileagePlus members to donate their miles to a wide variety of non-profits in need of air travel. To date, more than 154 million miles have been donated through the program. Miles on a Mission is a part of United’s Every Action Counts commitment, which aims to connect people, unite the world and serve communities by putting people and planes to work for the greater good.

For more information on Miles on a Mission or to donate miles, please visit united.com/donate.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Press Release

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