CEDAR RAPIDS — Quarantine has been a time where many saw the need to give back more than ever before.
The Haag family has been giving back for the last few year and, in these unprecedented times, has just increased their desire to continue.
One unique way they have been doing this is through exercising.
“I started donating when my younger sister, Christine, discovered this app (Charity Miles) at the Inflatable 5K she did a few years ago,” Allison Haag said. “At first, we put all our miles for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of our grandma, but after a while, I started learning about the other charities in the app and why other Charity Miles’ users exercise for those causes.”
The Charity Miles application helps them earn money for a charity while they run, walk or bike. The app uses the GPS on their phone to track their exercise. It donates 10 cents a mile for biking and 25 cents a mile for walking and running to charity. When they open the application, there are many different charities to choose from at the tip of their fingers.
“Some of them include Team for Kids, DoSomething.org, Ironman Foundation, Vision Spring, Achilles International and Nothing but Nets,” Brian Haag said.
The Haag family helps motivate each other by sending their daily miles to each other. This is the drive behind their desire to exercise more, as well as give back to others.
“I figured if there is a way to donate to charity when I workout, why not support so many great causes? I might as well help people if I am already working out,” said Gina (Haag) Kutilek, a history teacher at Xavier High School and Allison Haag’s sister.
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There are a lot of people feeling helpless, anxious or useless during this quarantine. A way to feel useful and ease anxiety is to exercise for donations.
“Just download the app ‘Charity Miles’ on your phone, Garmin, or other social media, and you can choose any charity you desire out of the 49 listed,” said Brian Haag. Kutilek’s father. “After 100 miles, you are invited to Charity Miles Champions. This includes 8,000 other exercises you can do to help support charities.”