SEATTLE — Wanna get away? Vacation Angel Network, a home rental platform based in Seattle, may have what you’re looking for.
“We have everything from small treehouses to giant mansions,” said founder John Fahey. “Your price range can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a night up to $5000 a night." The network functions like Airbnb, but there are no added booking fees.
But the Vacation Angel Network doesn’t exist just to benefit renters, it also donates getaways in their homes to families in need, for free.
"Usually, it's kids who are going through pediatric cancer, and we let their families go on a free vacation after they're done with treatment,” Fahey said. “We've teamed up with a bunch of different foundations and they will nominate people for us."
One of those families is the Wyneas. "It's very nice to know there are a lot of people out there who are willing to help,” said Caleb Wynea. His daughter Aliyah was diagnosed with a rare benign brain tumor, "We didn't expect this to happen to us, everything was pretty much normal until she had a headache that just wouldn't go away.”
Surgery to remove the tumor came with multiple complications and side effects. Aliyah had to learn to walk again, has ongoing symptoms similar to a traumatic brain injury, and her endocrine system doesn’t regulate normally. Outside support from the community and entities like Vacation Angel Network means everything to her parents.
"We've really developed a very virtuous cycle,” Fahey said. “For the homeowners, I know it's a positive experience for them - I know it also helps their business out, incidentally. And then for the families, you just see it in their faces. They have an amazing time. The whole thing is just a really positive, feel-good experience."
Vacation Angel Network features homes throughout Washington State, the Idaho Panhandle and parts of Western Montana. Fahey said he's looking for new homeowners to join the network, and would love to spread out nationally someday.