The other day, I found myself caught in a flash rainstorm while on one of my afternoon runs. Miles from home, I began trudging my way back, my shoes sopping wet, fighting through the pelting sheets of rain. And I loved every minute of it. If you’re like most people, it’s likely that this is not your idea of a “fun” afternoon. But what if you were getting rewarded some way? Or better yet, what if you were helping people in need? Guess what, you can.
A while back, I stumbled across an app called Charity Miles. Curious as always, I decided to investigate further—what is it? It didn’t take long, and I was hooked. Charity Miles is one of many free apps whose sole purpose is to make a difference in the world. Teaming up with over 20 charitable foundations, Charity Miles provides runners, walkers and bikers with a way to make a difference every day, just by doing what they love. Once you’ve downloaded the app, all you have to do is choose the organization that you would like to help from Charity Mile’s available list, then lace up your kicks and hit the pavement. For every mile you go, you earn money for your charity (10 cents for biking, 25 cents for running/walking). You’re literally making a difference with every footstep.
But Charity Miles isn’t the only one changing the world. There are a myriad of ways in which technology can assist you in bringing about change in your community. The Internet, with its far-reaching arms, is an excellent place to start in making your voice heard and doing something positive for others. Just this past March, 10 recipients received the annual Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at the annual SXSW Interactive Festival for their efforts in using technology to further the greater good. Charity Miles was one of these winners.
But you don’t have to create an award-winning app to do some good. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. You can improve your school, community or workplace just through responsible technology use. There are thousands of sites you can visit that will point you in the right direction so that you can make a difference. Maybe you want to learn where there are places near you where you can volunteer, or how to petition an issue affecting your community or even how to lift a girl living half way across the world out of poverty. And technology makes that information possible. But remember, it’s your responsibility to use technology in a positive way.
So feel free to post that uplifting YouTube video on your co-worker’s Facebook wall or tweet about an upcoming community service project you’re planning on going to. However you want to help, make use of all that technology at your fingertips and be a difference maker. iKeepSafe’s “Philantrophy: Be Good for Goodness Sake” curriculum includes lesson plans, teacher handouts, and parent tips that talk more about this very topic.
Technology can be one of our greatest allies and a true force for good. It’s our job to be responsible in our technology use. Let’s make a difference with our devices today. So go ahead, pull out those old, tattered running shoes—you might just change the world.
Visit these websites and help make a difference today:
Cover image courtesy of Flickr