I’ve been running for two years but I’ve only had this blog for about a month. In the last month doing this blog and interacting with readers here and with followers on social media, I’ve sincerely enjoyed the entire experience. In only a month, I’ve learned so much from other runners, whether its training tips, running resources or even just a new playlist on Spotify that I can rock out to during my next run! Aside from helping myself via the running community, I know that I have made a difference to a lot of people who were looking to start running or that simply needed a boost to pick running up again. From personal friends of mine to strangers who have been following me over the last two years, it is great to see that the encouragement that I give has given someone a boost in their lives. As I have said on several occasions, setting a goal, working hard and accomplishing it is a tremendous feeling. Knowing that you have helped someone do the same is icing on the cake!
Running inspiration is not all I am looking to give. One of the things that I always wanted to do in conjunction with running, and perhaps this blog, was to start helping others who need help outside of running in their everyday lives. After living in New York City for 32 years and still commuting to New York City every day for work, I know that there are a lot of people that are struggling day in and day out. New York City however is not alone. People around the world need our kindness. One of the things about running is that runners have a knack for helping one another. How many times have you seen it during or after a race? I have seen it so many times, we have a knack to preserve the human spirit. We actually give a shit about one another!
Earlier this week, thanks to one of my followers on social media, I learned about the website Charity Miles. When I read up on it I was in shock. Here was a site that was right up my alley! Charity Miles is a socially driven, for profit company, connecting charities, individuals and corporate sponsors. Currently the site is working with close to 40 well known charities such as Stand Up For Cancer, ALS Association, Habitat For Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project. Runners, walkers and bikers, download the Charity Miles app and choose one of the charities that they would like to raise money for. The app has GPS tracking that works like most workout apps. Once you go for a run, walk or bike, it will measure your distance and allocate 25 cents per mile run or walked or 10 cents per mile biked. The money then goes to the charity that you have selected. Charity Miles gains the funding that you help raise from the advertising budgets of large corporate sponsors such as Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Kenneth Cole and a variety of other large companies. At the end, all you have to do is run, walk or bike. You don’t have to collect a dime.
I know this is not true fundraising in its truest sense but if you look at the charities on their app, there may be something that is relevant to you and you may want to have a hand in steering some of that corporate money that they receive into the hands of the charity you feel strongly about. When I looked at the charities that they work with, one stood out to me. She’s The First supports girls around the world who will be the first in their families to graduate high school. Getting them to college is not the only thing, graduation is paramount. So many studies have been done about how girls forego education at an early age because it is assumed that they will be the ones to stay home and raise a family. In this world of empowering women, equal women’s rights, and the fact that I have two daughters of my own, this charity spoke to me. I am blessed to have one daughter in college and God willing when it is her time, my youngest will go as well. I know not everyone is as fortunate.
If I look back on my running in 2017, I will likely end up running about 400 miles as tracked on my MapMyFitness App. That’s an easy $100 to my charity per year. That doesn’t include the one mile walk that I have to and from my job every day. Yes two miles walking every day! At about 200 work days per year, thats another 400 miles there that I could have tracked. Knowing that I will be training for the New York City Marathon in 2018, my running mileage will likely go up exponentially! Multiply that by the fact that there are A LOT OF YOU out there in my boat and well, you get the picture right?
I kicked myself for not knowing about this app sooner but now that I know about, I will be using it every time I have the chance. Hopefully you will as well.
Giving to others is a good thing! Heres your chance to get involved!
(Full Disclosure: I have nothing to do with Charity Miles -I wrote this strictly because I feel it is a good thing to get as many of you all involved!)