Friday, February 22, 2013

Charity Miles: Miles of Smiles

310 miles. 

That's how far I've run since I started running in earnest again in my post-40 life last year and turned on my Nike+ running app to track how far I've gone. I started running again for me and I started running for charities. I've noted before in my blog that I'm not a person who runs for the sheer fun of it, so it helps me to be motivated by doing some good in the world to help others. Because 310 miles seems like a lot of work to me and somebody's life should be saved if I'm going to bother to do all that!

Most times, it's a portion of the race fee that helps a charity. Sometimes, I even fundraise and ask my friends to pledge. And then...this year a revolution happened. Charity Miles!

Charity Miles is a free app I use on my iphone that lets every single mile count to benefit charities from a short list of great organizations. You can run, bike, or walk with your Charity Miles app engaged. It tracks your mileage using the GPS on your phone and gives money (20 cents per mile for runners) to the charity of your choice for EVERY MILE! Sponsors donate money to Charity Miles and then all you have to do is exercise to do something good for yourself and for your chosen cause. For instance, when I started using it, when I started I always ran for...

because I advocate for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in my volunteer work with RESULTS all the time and they rock! Charity Miles tracked my mileage, my time, and gave me a real time read out of how many anti-malaria bed nets I'd earned for someone in need! HOW AWESOME!!! Nothing more inspiring than to see the impact of your effort in real time when you're working out.

Well, then I got the bright idea to turn on Charity Miles on the morning walk to take the kids to school and the afternoon walk home. And sometimes to just put the phone in a kid's pocket when she was running around in circles in the park. Yay! We racked up even more miles! But then the kids' got wise to what I was doing and insisted that sometimes we had to start walking for

because they like to earn vaccinations for puppies and kitties. Ok..fine :)

Meantime, the kids and I started training bigtime for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon weekend races, happening this weekend by the way! I'm signed up for the 13.1 mile half marathon, the 9 yr old is doing the 5K with me, and the 7 yr old is doing a 400m dash. We are fundraising for Shot@Life to bring vaccines for polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumococcal virus to kids in developing nations. Lo and behold, just before I went to Washington DC for a trip to lobby Congress for global vaccines a new charity popped up on Charity Miles...

Well, what could be more perfect? Walking around Capitol Hill, I turned on my Charity Miles all day and earned money for polio vaccines. And in my training runs - the ones NOT on a treadmill because you DO actually have to be moving around in space for this to work - I've been earning more polio vaccines. And when I run 13.1 miles on Sunday...yep, more Charity Miles and more polio vaccines!

So next year, if I log 310 miles or event more, I know that they are going to be even more meaningful miles than last year. Please join me and turn on the Charity Miles app whenever you hit the road. Exercise is now a great way to save your own life AND someone else's, too!

3 comments: said...

This is so great, Cindy! Mazel Tov to you and your girls for such great efforts to foster excellent outomes!

Alistar Johnson said...

absolutely fantastic cause

Alistar Johnson said...

fantastic way to raise money for a fantastic cause!