Miles For Money: Students, Staff Support Charities with Steps

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Anvi Talyan

Coach King shows her Charity Miles accomplishments, with over 3,000 steps for that day. Charity Miles is an app that records individuals’steps, and donates money to a charity of their choice depending on how much they run or bike. King has been able to raise money for her chosen charity, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “I enjoy being active and I enjoy supporting charities, so it’s a win-win,” King said.

By Anvi Talyan, Marquette High School

A new opportunity has become available to encourage teachers and students to be more active, while allowing them to support a cause that is close to their heart. This came in the form of the Charity miles app, which tracks the amount of steps a person takes and then turns that into money that is donated to a charity of their choice

As an active user of the Charity Miles app, Jenna King, physical education teacher, uses the app to donate to the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as lymphoma runs in her family. 

“If I can do a simple thing like walk or work out with my classes and it’s automatically donated to charity, then why not help out when it’s no money out of my pocket,” King said. 

She and other PE teachers implemented the Charity Miles app in their classes starting in 2020, to encourage students to continue to be active during virtual learning.

If I can do a simple thing like walk or work out with my classes and it’s automatically donated to charity, then why not help out when it’s no money out of my pocket.”

— Jenna King

Since then, King has continued to share the program with her students, and has even created competition in her classes to motivate students to use the app. For every 20 miles a student walks, their name gets entered into a raffle for gift cards to be awarded at the end of the year. 

King said she has found success with the app, as many students will make efforts to use it during class when walking the track. 

“They’re doing it on their own, and it is cool to see that they want to make that contribution,” King said. 

Because of the continued positive results over the past few years of using Charity Miles, King said she plans to use the app in upcoming years. 

While taking a PE class during virtual learning, Adriano Robins, junior, was introduced to the Charity Miles app. 

Since it was part of the curriculum, there was a minimum number of miles that students had to walk, but Robins said he found himself going over requirements as he found benefits from the app. 

“A lot of the times I found myself actually getting active and doing it to actually boost charity,” Robins said. “It was more than just for actually exercising for the class and earning points.” 

Doing that service to myself was also doing a service to other people, which I found to be motivating to keep going.”

— Adriano Robins

Though he had different reasons than King for choosing his charity, Robin decided to support a charity relating to heart disease. He said he was interested in heart disease after learning about it in his science class, and felt it made sense since Charity Miles encourages cardio activities that contribute to heart health. 

After his class had ended, Robins continued using the app until summer began and he put his focus on other activities. Though he doesn’t use it anymore, Robins said that he had originally continued it since it motivated him to work out, and found it rewarding to give back to those who are less fortunate. 

“Doing that service to myself was also doing a service to other people, which I found to be motivating to keep going,” Robins said. 

While PE teachers have focused on introducing the app to students, Associate Principal Dr. Rick Regina has used the Charity Miles app to help encourage teachers to be more active during the school day.

Regina is part of Marquette’s Wellness Committee, where he and a group of staff members work to motivate teachers to balance their work and well-being. They have held many other similar events, the most recent being the Wellness Olympics during March. 

“We have different activities throughout the year to try and encourage the staff to take care of themselves and work on their physical, mental and social health,” Regina said. 

For April and May, the Wellness Committee chose Charity Miles as the activity for teachers. They have the opportunity to use the app during their planning period, or take longer walks on the track before or after school. 

“Sometimes it’s good in the middle of the day to take a break, get a deep breath, go outside, and get some fresh air,” Regina said. “I think that’s important for everybody.”

Though Regina doesn’t plan to continue this specific event in the future, he has been able to introduce it to teachers who have come to enjoy it, and hopes to continue making similar impacts in the future. 

This story was originally published on Marquette Messenger on May 9, 2022.