If I had unlimited time and money, I would lavish loads of each one on causes I love. But I don’t have unlimited time and money (do you?) yet I still want to help causes I care about.
The unlimited money may never flow into my bank account; the unlimited time may never accrue. But I do have virtually unlimited consistency in running three times a week. There is something I can do during each of those runs to help fund causes I love while raising awareness about those causes and, sometimes, encouraging others to come along for the ride (or run, as it were).
Charity Miles is a free iPhone/Android app that allows us to be corporately “sponsored” for the miles we walk, run, or bike and to apply those miles to worthy causes. Sponsored miles apply twenty-five cents per run or walked mile and ten cents per biked mile. It’s the ideal arrangement for me – my physical exertion (that I was going to do anyway) and someone else’s money going to a cause of my choice.
Why did I jump on the Charity Miles bandwagon? For one thing, it gives me the mileage of my workout. I need that. For another, it is flexible; I can pick a different cause every workout. In fact, I did that recently when I participated in the Charity Miles half marathon (a cause a day for 13 days).
In September 2012, I had the incredible experience of running the Boston 13.1 Marathon as part of the Autism Speaks team. It was an incredible experience, but it is not one I can repeat regularly because I just don’t have the ability to raise $500 frequently.
But I can walk a mile, run three, bike 10. And when I Facebook status and Tweet my workout, maybe someone else will be inspired to do the same.
Charity Miles’s motto is “Every Mile Matters.” Here are the causes that make our miles matter:
Every Mother Counts
(The) Global Fund
Habitat for Humanity
(The) Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Pencils for Promise
Stand Up 2 Cancer
World Food Programme
Wounded Warrior Project
Charity Miles says, “changing the world is a team sport.” As a runner who enjoys running alone, it means a lot to me to still be on a “team” – the Charity Miles team.
I would love to have you as a teammate!
What types of running activities have you done that had a “cause” tie-in? If you could design a running/causes app, what features would you include? What are some favorites ways you know of to raise awareness for favorite causes?
Paula Kiger has been running on and off since she ran cross country in high school. Thirty years after high school ended, she is in full “ON” mode and trying to work her way up from the back of the pack to the middle. Paula blogs at biggreenpen.com. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and dailymile.