Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Philanthropy Post: Charity Miles

This is the first (of hopefully many!) post on businesses giving back or allowing a platform for others to give back. These will be appearing weekly!

How would you like to donate without even opening up your wallet? What if all you had to do was lace up your tennis shoes or fasten your helmet, open an app, and go?

With Charity Miles, that's all you have to do! This fantastic free app records your running or biking miles and makes a donation off of that distance! It's such a fantastic feeling after your run. I've used it on two or three runs so far and I'm loving it. Not only did you run for yourself, but you helped somebody else in the process. Double whammy.

Charity Miles from Richard Reininger on Vimeo.

How Does It Work?

Walkers and runners earn 25 cents a mile while bikers earn 10 cents a mile. The website explains that the organization has a one million dollar sponsorship pool. Each mile you walk, run, or bike comes from that sponsorship pool towards a charity of your choice. You can choose from the following charities: Feeding America, Autism Speaks, Wounded Warrior Project, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, RED, World Food Programme, The Nature Conservancy, ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, the Luekemia & Lymphoma Society, Partnership for a Healthier America, Pencils of Promise, Girl Up, Shot at Life,, Ironman Foundation, Every Mother Counts, Achilles International, or

The Impact

Once you choose your charity and whether you're going to run, walk, or bike, you hit "Start" and go! The app tracks your time, mileage, and even the impact you're creating. I usually choose Feeding America and it shows me how many meals I'm feeding people. So when I get tired, it helps for me to click on the "Impact" tab and see what my work is really going towards.

When you're finished with your run or bike, you simply click on "Finish" and the app will ask you to accept your sponsorship. You click yes and you can share it on social media. Finally, they'll send you an email letting you know the amount you were able to donate and how much you were able to help!

You can visit their website and download the app there.


Monday, March 25, 2013

A Little Makeover

Like most things in life, movement is a good thing. Being stagnant is almost always not healthy and I'm working to make sure that this blog doesn't become that way.

So I've decided to make a few tweaks and to start adding things a little more regularly. I've done a steady amount of research on how to grow a blog and there's countless posts, books, articles, podcasts, tweets, you name it, all telling you how to do this. It's overwhelming, really. But the overall theme in all the advice I've seen is this: consistent and quality content.

Good content? My gears had trouble spinning and I became frustrated in figuring out how to deliver something of high quality. What could I write about that people would actually want to read? I came up with a list of ideas, but I got bored simply reading the list. How can I keep the content fresh, exciting, authentic?

Then it hit me in the car one day driving to get my hippy, organic shampoo.

In order to provide inspiration or encouragement, I have to live that way. I have to live the content that I want to create.

Do I want to be inspirational? Then may my days be filled with big ideas and the pursuit of such ideas.

Do I want to live minimally? Then may my days be filled with getting rid of what I don't need.

Do I want to encourage creative giving through businesses that give back? Then may I do that myself.

John Piper, in a recent podcast about a writer's influence, said it perfectly: "Writing is living and living is for the glory of God." I always pray that my writing would glorify God. Sometimes it's easy, though to let the words escape the lips and never permeate the flesh. If I want to glorify God in my writing, then I'll glorify Him with my life.

I'm going to live the content that I want to create.

Which will mean a few changes on the blog around here. Every week or so, I'll feature a business that's giving back or that allows you the option to give back. I'm giddy to share these with you!

I've also decided to start making this blog an outlet for you to get to know me, as a photographer and as a person. Writing is as deep a passion as photography. Why not combine them here?

My first philanthropy business post will be on Wednesday! Be on the look out - I'm so excited! :)