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Interview: Tristan Chaput on Charity Miles for College

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Charity Miles is a way to exercise and support numerous causes (photo courtesy of She's the First)

Charity Miles is a way to exercise and support numerous causes (photo courtesy She’s the First)

Charity Miles, the free smartphone app that lets you raise money for causes while exercising, is taking the world by storm. Colleges are some of the places where this technological breakthrough in charity is happening.

At the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio students are using the app. Tristan Chaput, the president of the Campus Activities Board there, talks about Charity Miles on her campus. She hopes that the school will be “national champs” in this charity sport.

How did you decide to get MSJ involved in Charity Miles?

It was really a spur-of-the-moment thing! I was first introduced to Charity Miles through author William Lambers after winning a contest that he put together. I downloaded the app and used it when I was walking around campus from class to class and then I realized that the miles were really adding up. Bill mentioned making it a school-wide event. I am on the Campus Activities Board (CAB) at the Mount, so I brought it to the executive board. Everybody seemed excited about the idea of it, so it really took off. Some of our executive members are the ones who have collected the most miles so far. To get the campus involved, we decided to have a summer contest and see who can collect the most miles (the winner gets a prize). So far Mount students have collected 64,805 miles.

What kinds of charities are benefiting from your workouts?

Lately I have been working out for She’s the First, an organization that seeks to give girls in developing countries an education, since they are new to Charity Miles. I also do workouts for Wounded Warrior Project, Feeding America, and World Food Programme.

How many Charity Miles have you collected so far this summer?

19.602 miles

Do you think MSJ could be the leading college in terms of Charity Miles, even national champs?

I really think we could! Unlike larger campuses where you have to take shuttle buses from one side of campus to the other, MSJ is so small we walk everywhere. I know from experience that this is a great way to earn some Charity Miles. We also have a campus that is full of people who are always doing service, whether it’s service hours for a class or simply volunteering during free time.

How does someone get involved with Charity Miles at your school and in the community?

For the community, it’s easy. All you have to do is download the free app Charity Miles on your iPhone or Android. Before your workout begins decide whether you want to walk, run, or bike. Then simply select the charity you want to help and press Start. Our students have one extra step they need to complete. At the end of the workout they need to either “share” their workout on CAB’s Facebook page (Campus Activities Board – MSJ) or on CAB’s Twitter page (@CAB_MSJ). When they do this they are automatically entered to win prizes.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.