Category Archives: Charity

Feeding America wants food drives for Halloween

It’s not too early to plan a bit for Halloween. You can feel it starting to get cooler outside. The night of ghouls and goblins will sneak up on us soon.

Read the article at Examiner.

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MSJ Charity Miles Interviews

msjI have conducted interviews with several members of the Mount St. Joseph University Charity Miles team (MountMiles). These interviews have been published online at Huffington Post, Examiner and some have appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer print edition.

I have compiled a list of the published interviews and other features here with links. It’s a great way to learn about Charity Miles, how it works, and the people that make it go. This information can also serve as a model for other schools in setting up their own Charity Miles programs.

Interview: Tristan Chaput on Charity Miles for College

Interview with Aaron Bloemer- the student leader for Charity Miles

Interview: LeeAnne Reinert, Charity Miler at Mount St. Joseph

Huffington Post feature on Cross Country Runner Amanda Shelby

College student Kelly Burger featured at Huffington Post on 30-hour famine

Interview: Matthew Kohlmorgen about Charity Miles and Hemingway

MSJ runner Kelleen Scott logs charity miles to fight cancer

Fox19 segment on Mount Miles event

College Student Becca Heizer Excels at Charity Miles and Service Learning

MSJ Impact Group to Host Charity Miles Walkathon

MSJ Student Leader Making an Impact

MSJ Student Inspired by Charity Miles

Cincinnati Enquirer Good News Profile on Aaron Bloemer

Runner gives holiday gift of Plumpy’Nut to starving children

Cincinnati Authors Class Helps Feed the Hungry with Charity Miles

Linking Hunger Fighting and Service Learning

Small College Captured Spirit of the Marshall Plan

Author William Lambers on Charity Miles

MSJ Athletes Pursue National Title in Charity Miles

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Interview: LeeAnne Reinert, Charity Miler at Mount St. Joseph

LeeAnne Reinert is the President of the College of Mount St. Joseph Student Nurse Association. While starting her career in the medical field, LeeAnne has also been fundraising for many charitable causes.

She is a member of the Mount’s Charity Miles team (MountMiles), organized by the Campus Activities Board. Charity Miles is a free app you download onto your smartphone that allows you to raise money for Feeding America, Autism Speaks, Stand Up To Cancer, the World Food Program and many other charities.

When you start your workout, you select which organization to sponsor. Then for each mile you run, walk or bike, a donation is made to the charity of your choice, paid out of a sponsorship pool.

LeeAnne recently took time to discuss Charity Miles.

Tell us about your first experience with Charity Miles, as part of extra credit for a class.

I was very excited when I was told about the Charity Miles opportunity for my Cincinnati Authors Literature class. It was perfectly timed with Lent and connected my two Lenten goals into one since my Lenten goals were to make healthier choices and dedicate my time to a worthy cause. Running for good causes gave me all the motivation I needed to lace up my running shoes and head to the track.

I was also excited that if I completed the required number of miles by the end of the semester I would not have to write the final paper for my Lit class. (What college student doesn’t love getting out of writing a paper?) This opportunity ended up being a blessing that allowed me to focus on my nursing classes and raise my grades that ultimately helped me earn a 4.0 last semester!

How many Charity Miles have you run so far?

During school I ran about 30 miles. Since the beginning of summer vacation I have run about 40 miles. (The heat and work have slowed me down.)

What are some of the charities that you are helping?

The two charities that I run for the most are Stand Up To Cancer and Wounded Warriors Project.

Do you have a personal connection with any of the Charity Miles causes?

The Wounded Warriors Project has a special place in my heart. My father, mother, and brother are all in the military (or are retired from it) so all my life I have been surrounded by the dedicated men and women of our armed forces. Running for them makes me feel like I am doing my part to say thank you for their sacrifices. They received the care they more than earn as they continue to put themselves in harm’s way.

Stand Up To Cancer is another organization that is near and dear to me. I have had too many friends and family members fight or lose the battle to cancer. As a future nurse, cancer is going to surround me and knowing that the miles I run could help that fight always makes me want to push a little harder during each workout.

Can someone follow your Charity Miles workouts?

All of my Facebook friends can see my see my miles. My hope though is that my friends will be inspired to follow my lead and participate as well. I always know that some of my fellow Charity Miles runners/walkers will like the post and I always try to return the favor to them.

originally published at

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This Thanksgiving Feed A Silent Guest and Help End World Hunger

Here is a  list of charities where you can make a “silent guest” donation this Thanksgiving to Help Feed the Hungry. Imagine you have a guest at your table on Thanksgiving, one of the world’s hungry people. You can send the donation to pay for the Thanksgiving meal of your “silent guest.” Please see my article This Thanksgiving Feed A Silent Guest and Help Build World Peace. Also you can read more below about the “silent guest” program.

United Nations World Food Programme

Play Free Rice

Save the Children

Catholic Relief Services


World Vision


Feeding America

Aschiana Foundation

Action Against Hunger

Church World Service

Norwegian Refugee Council


Food for the Poor

article about the Silent Guest program in a 1947 Plymouth newspaper. (courtesy Plymouth Public Library)

The Friendship Train and the "Silent Guest" Program were two ways Americans sought to build peace after World War II (Cincinnati Post reprint courtesy of the Cincinnati Public Library)

In Thanksgiving 1947 Americans were asked to take a “silent guest” into their homes, one of the hungry in Europe. The World War II devastated countries had been hit hard by drought and harsh winters causing food shortages. The silent guest plan was one way Americans came to the aid of the hungry and suffering.

On Thanksgiving Day Americans would figure what it would cost to feed a “silent guest” at their meal and then mail the donation to a committee in Plymouth, MA – the home of Thanksgiving.  Donations poured in and led to the purchase of many thousands of CARE packages of food going to the hungry in Europe.

This Thanksgiving we can answer the cries of the hungry whether it’s in the famine zone of East Africa, or in drought-ravaged Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo  or Haiti. This holiday there may be those in your own city and state who are hungry.

You can take in a “silent guest” and make a donation to feed your guest at a number of charities.  Also included is a link to the online game Free Rice, where for every correct answer you get, 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme, paid for by advertisers, a modern way of taking in a “silent guest.”

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Power of Film Brings Awareness of Rare Disease

Films can be entertaining. But they can also do much more. Films can educate. Film can also be a powerful medium for advancing social causes. If used right, film can change the world.

The power of film was unleashed last week at the Rome Film Festival, this time helping children with a rare disease. The documentary, The Dark Side of the Sun, raises awareness of the rare disease Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP).

XP is a rare genetic condition. Persons with XP cannot be exposed to sunlight or they will quickly develop skin damage leading to cancer. XP sufferers cannot go outside during the daylight hours and must even avoid certain types of lights. A charity to support patients with XP was started by Caren and Dan Mahar in 1995.

Since 2005 I have done a number of articles on this outstanding organization. The XP Society runs Camp Sundown, where children with the disease can have a typical camp experience, taking place at night.

Camp Sundown in New York (photo courtesy of the XP Society)It is Camp Sundown that was the focus of The Dark Side of the Sun. A press release states, “Three years of professional filming, creativity and editing went into capturing the delight of children with a rare disease known as Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) at the special light-protected world of Camp Sundown.”

Camp Sundown depends on donations to keep running. Tough times with the economy have made this an even bigger challenge. When Hurricane Irene struck a couple of months ago, Camp Sundown sustained damage. Donations are needed for patient support and for research into a cure, which could potentially lead to advances in finding a cure for all cancers.

The Dark Side of the Sun is produced by an Italian film company, Citrullo International. You can view the trailer here. Following this premiere, it is expected that the film will be distributed in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Article first published as Power of Film Brings Awareness of Rare Disease on Blogcritics Magazine.

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