Every Mile Counts

charitymiles

I am not much of a fan of the devices that measure our distances. When we measure, we keep track of data and lose track of connection. I advocate that if we just get out to walk and enjoy the movement, the distance will add up. None the less, I do use an app to measure my distance because it does more than that, it does Good. Here’s my product review of Charity Miles app.

How Charity Miles Works

Charity Miles app is a free download from both Android and Apple. It measures your distance, keeps a history of your distance over time, and donates pennies on the dollar for each mile you trek. You select which charity you’d like the money to deposit, and the choices cover most any sector you could imagine. From animals and homeless to nature and moms, you should be able to find a charity that you can support. Me, I pick Girls on the Run.

After selecting your charity and defining what movement you’ll do, such as outdoor bike or indoor walk, Charity Miles records your time and distance. When you’re finished, it lets you know who underwrote your donation. My underwriters have been mostly Johnson & Johnson and Humana, although other companies do pop up. You then get a chance to show your appreciation to the underwriter and to post your distance to social media. Finally,  if you’d like, Charity Miles sends you an email about your workout.

Pros

Charity Miles has a very easy and simple interface. Its clean look allows quick choosing of charities and forms of exercise. The history displays your total distance and contribution by month. I like that I donate about $100 a year to my charity without actually writing a check. There’s also the ability to join teams and integrate your distance with reward programs such as Walgreens Balance Rewards

Cons

If you’re looking for a fully-featured measuring app that maps your distance, beats a pulse, and plays music, this is not the app for you. I also found some of the features a bit mysterious. When looking at my history, I see an “Impact” column which I’m assuming is my dollars donated to date. But I’m not sure.  In addition, I’m a bit unclear how or why I’d integrate with a reward program, how or why I’d join a team, and how I’d add photos to my profile. A peruse of the Charity Miles website didn’t clarify my confusion. Finally, although there is a wish list where you can request your favorite charity be included into the charity options, I’d like to see some local/regional options so that I can support my local non-profits.

The Bottom Line

For anyone who wants to track their time and distance, there’s no reason not to double dip and use Charity Miles. Not only do you get good stats, but you also give good will at the same time. A friend who wants more statistics uses both MapMyWalk and Charity Miles at the same time. I don’t see any harm in that at all. This product review of Charity Miles brings the app in at my rating of a B+.