Putting your miles to work and the song remains the same

I think I’m a little late to this party but I recently downloaded a fantastic app for my iPhone called Charity Miles. It’s a basic GPS app that allows you to earn money for charity while you put in your daily (or not so daily in some case, whatever works for you) walk/run/bike. So if you’ve looking for a way to keep track of your miles and times and want earn a little good karma in the process, I suggest you check it out.

How it works is pretty simple. The app creators seek corporate sponsorship, and collect a pool of charitable donations. You download their app, select a charity to support with the swipe of  finger, start the GPS to track your workout, and then earn donations to that charity based on your total miles (you earn 10 cents a mile for biking, while running or walking nets 25 cents per mile). I have chosen Habitat for Humanity for my walks this week, but plan on rotating in the future as there are several worthy causes to choose from, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Michael J. Fox Foundation (supporting Parkinson’s research), The World Food Program, and many others.

The home page allow you to swipe through several choices and select the charity you want to support.

The home page allow you to swipe through several choices and select the charity you want to support.

You can select the same charity each time or choose a new one. I've been supporting Habitat for Humanity this past week, but plan on rotating each month.

You can select the same charity each time or choose a new one. I’ve been supporting Habitat for Humanity this past week, but plan on rotating each month.

The interface is clear and easy to use, and will tell you basic information about your exercise, namely how far you have travelled and how long it has taken you. You can put your fourth grade math skills to work and figure out how much money you have donated, but one of the really neat features is the “IMPACT” screen, which lets you see what your donations mean to the organization in real, tangible terms. For example, my 5.4 and change mile walk meant that Habitat would be able to provide 13.5 pieces of lumber towards new housing. I love this idea as it helps you quantify the real good that is being done by your donation.

Is this going to replace your Garmin? Probably not, but the GPS has been accurate and it gives the basic information most people want and/or need.

Is this going to replace your Garmin? Probably not, but the GPS has been accurate and it gives the basic information most people want and/or need.

I love the IMPACT tab. It's great to be able to see in real terms what your donation is doing, and provides a nice motivation to put in that extra half mile or another lap when it is broken down so plainly.

I love the IMPACT tab. It’s great to be able to see in real terms what your donation is doing, and provides a nice motivation to put in that extra half mile or another lap when it is broken down so plainly.

So anyway, if you’re looking for a basic (and free) GPS app, why not choose one that can do a little good for others at the same time? It’s an easy way to help make a difference and support one or many of the worthy causes involved. (And hey, now’s a good time for another plug! While you making plans for your holiday giving, please consider a donation to support me in the 2014 Bike MS: The Citrus Tour by clicking here or using the DONATE link on the upper right corner of this page. All donations go to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Thanks to all for your past, current, and future support!)

While I was out of the walk I mentioned above, I was reminded of one of life’s universal truths: If you put up a sign, teenagers will, given half a chance and something to scratch with, make you, The Man, look stupid and turn your sign against you. To wit:

Kate boarders are a menace, no doubt, but why you got to pick on the cyclists?

Kate boarders are a menace, no doubt, but why you got to pick on the cyclists?

I never thought Viola was particularly attractive, but apparently there is hope.

I never thought Viola was particularly attractive, but apparently there is hope.

One other quick note. We lost the greatest rock and roll front man of all time, Mr. Freddie Mercury, on this day in 1991. In honor, check out the amazing isolated vocal track of Under Pressure. Freddie just kills it (Mr. Bowie ain’t bad, either.)

We miss you, Freddie.

Cheers.

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Posted on November 24, 2013, in Charitable Giving, Cycling and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Neat, now I know what Charity Miles is. I’ll use that for my monthly-ish runs. Maybe there will be some motivation in there.

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