There are three types of people in this world: good people, bad people and the saints who donate to charity. Second-year student Camyrn Ryder is a part of the third group.
Ryder is a midfielder for the women’s lacrosse team and a member of Alpha Phi Omega. Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed, national community service fraternity on campus. Ryder joined the group last spring, but was quickly aware of a problem. Since they have been online since the start of the pandemic, they’ve had to find new ways to do community service.
Normally, she explained, they would go to a homeless shelter in Kingston or do things on campus, but they haven’t been able to. So that’s where Charity Miles comes into the picture.
Charity Miles is an app that connects to the health app and will count your steps. The app uses sponsors for charities, and for every mile, walk or run, 25 cents is donated to a charity of choice. There are a multitude of charities to choose from through the app.
Alpha Phi Omega realized by doing this they could raise money for people, and joined the app in September. Since then, they’ve collectively gone 1,689 miles. That equals out to $422 dollars and 25 cents for charities of their choice.
They decide where to donate based on the month. For example, since October was breast cancer awareness month they donated to Susan G. Komen breast cancer research. November was Alzheimer’s awareness month so they did the Alzheimer’s Association.
Ryder is the campus communications chair for Alpha Phi Omega. This means her job is to organize service events and fundraisers with other on campus groups and organizations. Fittingly, as Ryder is on the lacrosse team, she figured she should organize something with them.
“We’re all moving at practice,” Ryder said. “And I know me and some other people always have our watches on so it will calculate that. If we’re moving, that’s some movement in there [for Charity Miles].”
Ryder looked up what the month of February was for and saw it was low vision awareness month, so she set her charity to the Fighting Blindness Foundation. She messaged one of her captains for lacrosse and asked if the team could download the app, go about their day normally and it would send money to that foundation. The lacrosse group went 148 miles in February which equaled $38 dollars.
“It might not seem like a lot, but it’s still more than nothing,” Ryder said. “I’m keeping the app, so personally if I look at what I’ve done, I’m at 468 miles. On my own I’ve made $117 dollars for any charity that I put. Just keeping it on your phone goes places.”
Ryder said she thinks at some point throughout the month of March her service vice president Malak Diouri will bring Charity Miles back for a new foundation.
Ryder recommends people to download the app with a group of their friends.
“I hype up this app a lot. Everyone go download it,” she said.