Tag Archives: College of Mount. St. Joseph

Interview: Tristan Chaput on Charity Miles for college

Charity Miles, the free smartphone app that lets you raise money to support causes while exercising, is taking the world by storm. Colleges is one of the places where this technological breakthrough in charity is happening.

At the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio students are using the app. Tristan Chaput, the president of the Campus Activities Board there, talks about Charity Miles on her campus. She hopes that the school will be “national champs” in this charity sport.

How did you decide to get MSJ involved in Charity Miles?

It was really a spur of the moment thing! I was first introduced to Charity Miles through author William Lambers after winning a contest that he put together. I downloaded the app and used it when I was walking around campus from class to class and then I realized that the miles were really adding up. Bill mentioned making it a school-wide event. I am on the Campus Activities Board (CAB) at the Mount, so I brought it to the executive board. Everybody seemed excited about the idea of it, so it really took off. Some of our executive members are the ones who have collected the most miles so far. To get the campus involved, we decided to have a summer contest and see who can collect the most miles (the winner gets a prize). So far Mount students have collected 64.805 miles.

What kinds of charities are benefiting from your workouts?

Lately I have been working out for She’s the First, an organization that seeks to give girls in developing countries an education, since they are new to Charity Miles. I also do workouts for Wounded Warrior Project, Feeding America, and World Food Programme.

How many Charity Miles have you collected so far this summer?

19.602 miles

Do you think MSJ could be the leading college in terms of Charity Miles, even national champs?

I really think we could! Unlike larger campuses where you have to take shuttle buses from one side of campus to the other, MSJ is so small we walk everywhere! I know from experience that this is a great way to earn some Charity Miles! We also have a campus that is full of people who are always doing service, whether it’s service hours for a class or simply volunteering during his/her free time.

How does someone get involved with Charity Miles at your school and in the community?

For the community, it’s easy. All you have to do is download the free app Charity Miles on your iPhone or Android. Before your workout begins decide whether you want to walk, run, or bike. Then simply select the charity you want to help and press start. Students have one extra step they need to complete. At the end of the workout they need to either “share” their workout on CAB’s Facebook page (Campus Activities Board – MSJ) or on CAB’s Twitter page (@CAB_MSJ). When they do this they are automatically entered to win prizes.

article originally published at Cincinnati.com

Leave a comment

Filed under global hunger

College Class to Help Feed the Hungry

It was Helen Keller who said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” I recently used that great quote while speaking to a class at the College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ).

The students there are going to help fight global hunger by playing FreeRice and walking Charity Miles as part of their Cincinnati Authors course. Ashley Eilers of the MSJ school paper reports on this service learning set up by Professor Jeff Hillard.

With FreeRice the students will be raising donations for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the largest agency fighting hunger. The FreeRice donations will feed children in Niger, a country that suffered a severe drought and near famine last year. With Charity Miles, the free cell phone app that generates donations when you exercise, the students will help both WFP and Feeding America.

The Mount’s Leadership Pathways program had a FreeRice event earlier this year. It was a student in last year’s Cincinnati Authors class, Elizabeth Paff, whose enthusiasm put this plan in motion.

Paff did not have a cell phone with internet connectivity so she was unable to download and use the Charity Miles app. That did not stop her, though. She did her own form of Charity Miles, running and fundraising for Plumpy’nut to feed malnourished children. Since October we have raised donations for over 1,300 meals for Feeding America, the World Food Programme, and Edesia through our combined Charity Miles program.

Last week I ran to the Anderson Ferry Food Pantry in Delhi, Ohio. It’s part of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank’s network of agencies fighting hunger in the area. The Pantry is short on donations while they have seen an increase in demand, a familiar scene across the country, with over 50 million Americans food-insecure.

A walk or run to your local food pantry, using Charity Miles, might be a good way to raise money and find out what is happening with hunger in your community. If there is a food shop nearby you might be able to finish your run there and purchase some supplies for the pantry as well.

Sherrie Kleinholz, a great advocate for the homeless, and I teamed up for a food drive last summer that benefited the Anderson Ferry Pantry as well as Our Daily Bread, and the Care Barrel at Our Lady of Victory Church. The food drive was in honor of my mother who passed away from cancer. One of the donors was scheduled shortly for surgery but still took the time to gather food and leave it out for pickup. Kleinholz also spoke to the Cincinnati Authors class prior to my presentation.

Feeding America is encouraging everyone to get involved in the Together We Can Solve Hunger campaign. The best ideas to help fight hunger are the ones you adapt or create on your own. So get involved as soon as you can.

Article first published as College Class to Help Feed the Hungry on Blogcritics.

Leave a comment

Filed under global hunger

Interview with Christine Grote, Author of Dancing in Heaven

When Christine Grote returned to school at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, she began the journey of an emerging writer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English 2007 and even started up a literary magazine for the college.

Her writings began to get published by magazines and newspapers, including St. Anthony Messenger , RED Webzine , and the Cincinnati Enquirer . Her journey as a writer would also take her down another path: That of an author.

Christine just wrote and published a memoir about her sister Annie, who passed away in 2009. Dancing in Heaven takes you inside Christine’s family and their life with Annie, who was disabled from birth.

In the following interview, Christine talks about Dancing in Heaven and also the process of publishing this inspirational memoir.

Tell about when the inspiration came to you to write a book about your sister’s life.

I’ve always known I would eventually write a story about Annie. This particular story began as a short story in collage form about Annie’s life for a creative writing class I was taking at the College of Mount St. Joseph in 2005, several years before Annie died. Although my teacher encouraged me to pursue the story by polishing it and seeking publication, I put it away. When Annie died in August of 2009, I felt compelled to tell her story. So I combined my short story with notes, journal entries, and e-mails from Annie’s last days. I filled in with more stories and drafted Dancing in Heaven.

What challenges did you face in the journey from an inspired idea to a ready-to-publish manuscript?

The first challenge was determining what to include and what to cut. I do a lot of revising, and make a fairly big mess of it in the process by at times physically cutting printed pages and taping things back together in a different arrangement. I felt the most challenged by, or least secure in, the final editing as a self-publishing author. No one has your back, so you have all the responsibility of making sure the final product is clean and correct.

What led you to start your own publishing company as opposed to sending your book to a traditional publisher?

Originally I intended to seek traditional publication. I bought books about getting an agent, writing a book proposal, and getting published. I sent out a single query letter to a recommended agent. I never heard anything back. Not even a simple, “I got your query and I’m not interested.” Agents don’t even have time for that much.

Meanwhile I was reading about self-publishing online. I liked the fact that I would keep control of the final product, including the title. I liked the fact that I wouldn’t have to wait what could be four or more years to find an agent. I wanted Annie’s story out there so I could move on with my life. I am not a very patient person. I did not want to have to rely on my query letter in a stack of thousands, making it into the right individual’s hands at the right time. It’s a good story. I wanted to tell it. I took a self-publishing workshop from Writer’s Digest University online and saw that I could do it.

What advice would you give other people inspired to write a book? Would you ever teach a seminar on publishing a book?

I think anyone inspired to write a book, or pursue any other creative outlet, owes it to themselves, not to “try,” but to do it. I read somewhere there are no “aspiring” writers, only writers. We only get one chance at this life, and the years go quickly.

I don’t have any plans to teach a seminar, and don’t really feel qualified to do it. But I am more than happy to answer individuals’ questions or help others in any way I can.

Where can people get a copy or more information about Dancing In Heaven?

You can read a brief summary, a few excerpts, and what others are saying about the book at the Dancing in Heaven page on my blog. Dancing in Heaven is available in print and for the Kindle at Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble online in print (they actually have it discounted 10%) and for the Nook . It is also available in other ebook formats from Smashwords .

I love to hear comments or answer questions from individuals who have read Dancing in Heaven. They can do that on the page at my blog.

View the original article on blogcritics.org

1 Comment

Filed under Books

A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River

100-4602This week at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, I was helping to arrange a fundraiser to benefit the YWCA and global hunger relief efforts. Not far from the campus, located in Delhi Township, is the Ohio River.

You can see the river from certain vantage points looking down from the Mount. And since it’s Halloween, it’s worth mentioning a tale about a graveyard hidden away in the woods.

Many years ago, when nightfall came, residents of Delhi reported mysterious lights and the eerie tune of a fiddler coming from the graveyard. So scared were the residents that no one dared go to the cemetery. Was this a ghost? No one knew. Would anyone ever know?

In the 1960’s, a Mount St. Joseph professor, Cecil Hale, appeared to have found the answer. Henry Darby (1781-1852), a prominent abolitionist, lived right near the site of the graveyard.

scan0041Hale found out the ghost reports started during the time of the Underground Railroad. This was the secret network that guided slaves to freedom, and was extremely active in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Hale believed the strange lights and music at the graveyard were signals to slaves across the river in Kentucky that it was safe to cross. He wrote a play called the Legend of Fiddler’s Green which tells this story.

scan0040The Ohio River was indeed a major route on the Underground Railroad. So active was the area that the Underground Railroad Freedom Center was eventually located in Cincinnati.

Was this ghostly legend one way that residents of Delhi were secretly working to help operate the Underground Railroad? It appears reasonable that the ghostly mystery is indeed solved. Wait! There are some lights coming from over the hill from the direction of the college. And a strange eerie tune. Oh Great!

The global hunger relief fundraiser is to benefit the Catholic Relief Services school feeding program in Sudan, the Aschiana Foundation, and Edesia, a non-profit organization which produces plumpy’nut. For more information please write here.

Article first published as A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River on Blogcritics. (article first published in October 2010)

1 Comment

Filed under global hunger, History