A Champion of Civic Responsibility, ACE Walks the Walk with Charity Miles

News | October 23, 2017

Jaleesa Jones
Social Media Coordinator

What if you could move the needle on social issues just by moving your body?

That’s the premise of Charity Miles, a charity app that connects the well-being of the individual back to the well-being of the community. For every mile users walk, run or bike, sponsor companies pledge a donation, which Charity Miles gifts to users’ charity of choice.

ACE hit the ground running with the app on Aug. 7 and has soldiered through 290.3 miles for Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of veterans through community engagement.

"We’ve not formally supported an organization that benefits our veterans yet, so we wanted that to be a choice," said Human Resources Director and B Corp Benefits Officer KK Byland. "We really do try to support different organizations and reach as many people as we can (and) this was a great opportunity."

It was also a natural extension of the work ACE was already doing to promote employee wellness.

"We’ve always championed and encouraged good health and self-improvement," Byland said. "We actually had a wellness program before we became certified (as a B Corp), so it’s a natural fit to bring our wellness initiatives into the corporate social responsibility space. It serves two purposes: Make healthy choices and give back."

For Assistant Director of Admissions Jeannie Taylor, who helms the wellness committee alongside Byland and works closely with ACE’s student veterans, giving back was personal.

"Veteran programs in general are far too under-supported," said Taylor, who has used Charity Miles for years and has logged 21 miles for Team RWB. "I see it with what I do with them every day as far as how the process works just to get the tuition benefits approved. And when it comes to their healthcare and mental health and all of the support they need, it feels like there’s never enough that can be done, so if I can help a little bit in that way… it’s nice to be a part of that."

Taylor adds that she loves that the app empowers people to take incremental strides to help others.

"You can’t always give a lot of money to organizations that you want to support,” she said, "but what I really like is that you’ve got these bigger companies that are partnering with Charity Miles to say, 'Well, if you can get people to be active and do this, we’ll be happy to donate.' You know, if I’m going to go out and run a few miles anyway, all I’ve got to do is open this app and choose my charity. I don’t have to do anything else and I know that I’m contributing."

Looking for ideas on how to get involved with your local community? Check back next week for a window into what ACE is doing and the community service efforts that keep us motivated.