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By Beth Nobles, Texas Mountain Trail
Next time you head out for a long training ride or a jaunt around town, you could be logging miles and earning dollars for your favorite charity, through a new iPhone or Android app called Charity Miles.
A brainchild of a leading volunteer for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the app will track your miles using GPS and allow you to designate 10 cents per cycling mile and 25 cents per walking/running mile to your choice of charities, including:
Every Mother Counts
Habitat for Humanity
Partnership for a Healthier America
Pencils of Promise
Stand Up to Cancer
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
The Nature Conservancy
The World Food Programme
Wounded Warrior Project
Paige Phelps of the West Texas Food Bank started using the Charity Miles app recently in her walks and rides around Marfa. “Lots of apps help you track your performance, but Charity Miles is the only one that will track your values. While you’re out there already doing what you do –running, walking and biking— why not download the free app and click Feeding America? Every mile you log is money in the bank for the nation’s network of food banks.”
Cyclist Brenda Taylor Coleman of Yoakum says the app is “simple to use and a super easy way to support your favorite charity. I worked for Habitat for Humanity for 15 years so I am a huge fan! If I meet my goal this year of 6,000 miles that would be $600 dollars - you can buy some sticks and bricks with that!”
Participation is free. Users are required to post their miles through Facebook and Twitter to encourage others to take part. Three of Charity Miles' founders (Gene Gurkoff, David Nottoli and Joe Marinucci) are self-funding the first $1 million and are soliciting corporate sponsors to continue the project. For more information, visit the Charity Miles website or their Facebook page.
BikeTexas may not be on the list of charities to choose from for this app, but we're all about doing good in the world. Put your smartphone and your cycling time to good use for one of the great charities on the list. Maybe someday BikeTexas will be on an app like this, too!