Posts Tagged ‘Charity’


The Streak Continues…

21 Days in the books.  Better than 1/5 of the way there.  Due to differences in GPS measurements, I’m at 116.851 “Charity Miles” miles.

Wanna help your charity of choice simply by running or biking or walking?

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

Week 3:
January 15    1.0 miles   07:36  7:36 pace    aHR 156
January 16   5.0 miles   41:29   8:17 pace    aHR 134
January 17   8.0 miles   58:27   7:18 pace   aHR 151
January 18   8.0 miles   71:41   8:57 pace   aHR 116 (100 miles on the Garmin as of today!!!)
January 19   4.0 miles   39:55   9:58 pace   aHR 111
January 20   7.0 miles   55:02   7:52 pace   aHR 146
January 21   3.0 miles   23:06   7:42 pace   aHR 133
Week 1 Total – 36.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 114.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

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There was so much more that I didn’t document while I was out there running my unofficial New York City Marathon…hopefully I will get around to it sometime soon, but in the meantime, this was my iPhone’s experience today!

all photos (except for Staten Island shots – which were downloaded), videos, notes and editing done on the iPhone – thank you Steve Jobs.

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If you follow along on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that I’ve started a campaign to capture Katy Perry’s attention and then convince her to donate one of her blue wigs to me to wear at this year’s New York City Marathon.  I started a petition on Change.Org to create a central location to collect your signatures.   If you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate your signing the petition.  The link is —>HERE<— (or you can click on the image below).  I’ll wait right here while you go over and sign it.

Sign Here!!!


But that’s only one prong of my three-pronged strategy to get Ms. Perry’s attention.


Part two also involves you as well, if you are willing.  Members of Team Up With Autism Speaks and I are putting together a Twitter campaign to send a steady stream of tweets to Katy Perry (Twitter handle: @katyperry).  I have no idea how often she reads the tweets that are sent to her.  Based on what I’ve seen on her twitter stream, she receives quite a few tweets – that happens when you have 24 million followers.  Ideally, at any given point during the day, for the next 8 weeks until New York, somebody will tweet to Katy asking her to donate a wig.  Obviously I will be tweeting her on a regular basis, but the more people that do it, the more likely either she, or whoever runs her social media will see it.  If you are up to sending her regular tweets (or even just one tweet), maybe it could look something like this:

Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ one of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #lightluaublue


Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ 1 of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #luauisafirework

If you copy and paste either one of those two, you will use all 140 characters while providing her with a link to the petition, with hashtags for Autism and Awareness , which means that the tweet will pop up when people search for either one of those terms.  The link to Twitter is here:

Copy one of the tweets above and then click on the birdie!

The first coordinated Twitter-fest is tomorrow (Tuesday the 25th) at 10:30AM.  Hopefully if hundreds of people send her the same tweet at 10:30AM (EST), it might get noticed.


Finally the third prong of my strategy may or may not involve you – do you know Katy?  Somebody out there has to know her, right?  or at least someone who knows someone, whose uncle has customer who once dated a girl who is the sister of a guy who went to school with a girl whose aunt’s best friend’s son dated a girl who is one of Katy’s dancers?  Somebody, somewhere out there could let Katy know, right?  Okay, seriously though.  I’m trying to work through some people who work with people in the music industry, but if you know someone who knows her…or better yet, if YOU know her, I would love the opportunity to pitch my request to her.

…because I would look much better in this wig…

…than in this one!


So that’s it – my three pronged strategy: petition, twitter-bomb and finding somebody who might know somebody.  If you have suggestions on how better to reach her, please email me (runluaurun at gmail dot com) – I am open to any and all suggestions.

Don’t forget, 10:30AM tomorrow morning (EST).  I appreciate any and all help…even if it’s just passing this or the petition link or the tweet along.  Whether I succeed or not, I have a feeling that this will make a great starting point for my motivational speech the night before New York.

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Morning run.

Bike ride to work.

Walking the dog.

Do these sound like fund raisers?  Well, they can be.

And it is seriously that simple. There is a fantastic little app, available on both iPhones and Android devices, called Charity Miles.  It allows you to be sponsored during whatever walking, biking or running activity you take part in.  The best part is that you are not limited to one or two charities to choose from.  You can choose from nine charities that are varied in what they do:

You simply start the app, swipe to the charity of your choice, press start and go.  For each mile you walk or run,  you earn 25¢ for your charity of choice.  For every mile you bike, you earn 10¢.  It may not sound like a lot, but it adds up.  If every runner at Boston 13.1 had used the app, nearly $5000 would have been raised simply with swipe of a finger.  In the short time I have been using the app, I’ve raised enough money to fund nearly 5 hours of autism research.  Think about how much you move throughout the day.  Whether it’s your morning run, walking the kids to school, biking to work, walking the dogs three times a day…every step can count; every errand can be a fund raiser.  The only work you have to do is the work you were already going to be doing!

Charity Miles has $1,000,000.00 to give away.

One.  Millions.  Dollars.

That’s a lot of dollars.  Their goal is to give it all away by May 31, 2013.

Food, school supplies, Parkinson’s research, conservation, housing, inclusion…whatever your charitable cause may be (and of course, if you have no preference, I’d say go light blue!), you can help each of these charities earn a chunk of the millions dollars simply by moving you body.

This is how it works:

This is Gene’s (the founder) story:

Gene’s Story

It’s a free app, paying you to do what you were already going to do.  The more people who do this, the more money our charities earn, the bigger impact we have.

So if you run, walk, bike, skip, shuffle, dance or moonwalk your way around your neighborhood or to and from work, take a moment to download the app.  You’re going to do those activities anyway, why not get paid for it!

And who knows, you might end up in a cool email like the one that arrived in my inbox early last night:

Luau Earns Style Points
With Team Up With Autism Speaks
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Team Player!

Dear Team Charity Miles,

Meet Matt “Luau” Wilson.  Yesterday, Matt joined 260 teammates from Autism Speaks to run the Boston Half Marathon.  Luau had coached this team all summer.  So when race day came, there was no holding back.  Out came the Big… Blue… Afro!

But Luau’s style points don’t end there.  After pacing one of his teammates to a P.R. (personal record), Matt ran back onto the course to shuttle in the next teammate he could find. Then he did it again… And again… And again… Until he personally ran in all 260 teammates.  All in all, Matt ran over 22 miles– nearly a full marathon!  Way to go Matt!  Way to be a team player!

Also, congratulations to everyone else on Team Up who helped raise over $175,000 for Autism Speaks yesterday.  Just goes to show you how a small group of people can have a big impact.  Or, as we, like to say, “Changing the world is a team sport!”

In honor of Matt and Autism Speaks, wear something blue while you do your Charity Miles this week.  Tweet out the #GoTeam hashtag and you could win a free T-Shirt!

All the best,


Copyright © 2012 Charity Miles, All rights reserved.
Every Mile Matters!
Our mailing address is:

Charity Miles

320 West 38th Street

New York, NY 10018

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This video is old, but I saw it just the other day for the first time.  It made me think of my ongoing struggle to get back into the swing of things.

This video is relatively new.  It was posted by a doctor who is advocating exercise in a very simple, easy to understand way.  The statistics quoted should be enough to get you up and moving.

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

I hope that you will take the time to watch both videos.

As we get into the thick of the Holidays and the spirit of giving, I can’t help but wonder how many of you aren’t thinking of/giving to yourselves, forgetting that, as much as you want to be able to take care of those around you, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be good to anyone.

As daunting as it may sound, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you have to train for a marathon, like Roger, the gentleman in the first video.  As the second video points out, just 20+ minutes a day of walking can reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure by nearly 30%.


What I like about the first video is not that the guy ran a marathon (though that is awesome!) – no.  The thing I was most moved by was that he latched onto a reason to get himself moving.  Sometimes, doing it for ourselves is not enough motivation.  We seem to disregard the concept of self-care, or at best put it low on the priority list.  Sometimes what it takes is a cause, a reason.  Roger found that cause in his niece and because of that, he was able to find the courage, the strength, the reason to keep going; and he is now a transformed man.

If you are struggling, and self-motivation isn’t enough, do it for a cause, a reason – your daughter, your son, your mother, your dad, your sibling, your spouse, a friend or do as my friend David does in this —>post<—  about charity.

I have never bought into the concept that we are destined to remain the shape we have lived with or are currently in – I was a lollipop until after college (big head, toothpick body).  You can change your body, mind and soul.  They go hand in hand in hand.

Find a reason.  Find a cause.

After they thank you for your efforts, you’ll inevitable thank yourself.

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Why do you run?

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My Little Brooke

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

On November 7th, 2010 I will be running the ING New York City Marathon. It will be my 4th, possibly 5th, marathon, but it will be the first that I run representing a charity. I have chosen a charity that is very close to my heart – Autism Speaks. My daughter, Brooke, has autism. She was diagnosed over 3 years ago and when my wife and I were told the news, there was very little support out there. In the time since then, the tools and resources available to families with new diagnoses has come a very long way. Part of that is due in large part to the efforts of Autism Speaks.

They have been a tireless advocate of awareness, something both the wife and I strongly believe in.

Ignorance is the parent of fear and cruelty.

In an ignorant world, my daughter would have been called a brat, or willful child, or worse, stupid. In an ignorant world she would have been constantly punished for behavior that she is unable to control without assistance. In an ignorant world, my daughter may well have been looked upon with disapproval and judgement from both teachers and peers. Thanks in part to the efforts of Autism Speaks and charities like it, my daughter does not live in a world of ignorance. We may not be where we need to be yet, but we are on our way.

Awareness is the parent of understanding and compassion.

With awareness comes understanding which can eventually lead to compassion. I have been amazed how people have responded to my little Brooke once they know what she has to deal with on a daily basis. Once they understand that a room full of talking children can literally be a painful assault on her ears, or that trying to follow what a teacher is saying in class can be as if you were trying to understand a lecture on economics by a professor who spoke 4 out of 5 words in a language you didn’t understand, or that a simple, repetitive sound that you or I simply block out as white noise becomes an itch that she cannot possibly hope to scratch; once people understand this, their awareness quickly turns to compassion. People start looking out for Brooke because they know that in the end, she is just like any one of us, just a little different on how she perceives the world.

I believe that the more people I can make aware of autism and its effects on both those who have it and their families, the better the world will be when my little girl grows up. The wife and I have, from a very early point, been fairly public about autism, Brooke and our family. Not everyone chooses to “come out” if you will, and I have grown to accept and even understand that. By the same token, I feel that as long as autism is kept in a dark corner, hidden away as something to be ashamed of, then ignorance, fear and cruelty will continue to exist and grow.

Running for awareness.

And so I run. This November I will run to help push the boundaries of awareness. I will talk to anyone who asks about the lows and highs (yes, highs) of having a child on the autism spectrum. I will encourage people to speak loud and speak proud of their children or themselves. I will remind parents that no victory is too small to cheer and that no defeat is too large to throw in the towel.

Autism Speaks is a charity I respect and have a passion for. They do so much and work so hard to make the world a better place for my Brooke, for both today and tomorrow. But it’s not just my Brooklet that they are helping. Everyday a new family is devastated with the news that someone in their family, whether they are 3, 13 or 23 years old, has been diagnosed with autism. I have had many friends come to me over the past year asking questions and expressing concerns about their own children. With resources like the First 100 Days Kit, these families are now able to find the tools to help ease that initial pain and start moving in a positive direction.

So I am asking you to help me help my little Brooke and all the families out there affected by autism. You can do that by clicking


The link will take you directly to my fundraising page for this year’s New York City Marathon. I need to raise at least $2600. Much of the funds that Autism Speaks raises goes to research, but a portion of it also goes directly to grants that are reviewed by the parents of children with autism. They make an effort to make sure that the funds they distribute can benefit many of us directly. Autism Speaks is truly working to make the world a better place both today AND tomorrow. I know that many of you have helped me in the past when our family has done the Autism Speaks Walks. I am truly grateful for that, and I am asking for your help once again. Having learned to walk, it’s now time for me to run. I hope that you will support me as I try to make the world just a little more aware, a little more understanding, a little more compassionate.

Thank you so much.

Help Me Help Brooke To Fly

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[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

Thank you to all of you who donated $22 to various charities and brought some sense of purpose to the insanity that is running 2 marathons in 2 weeks.  Here are some shots of those who will be riding the “jumpseat” today at the Providence Marathon.

A huge shoutout to the Doran family that took it one step further and donated $222.  I’m glad I’ll have you all along for the ride!

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Stay with me...this will make sense when you get to the bottom.

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

I mean, seriously? 2 marathons in 2 weeks? Really?!?

A lot of my friends, particularly the experienced marathoners, and of those, specifically the crazy ones (Brooke, Erica you know I mean that in the nicest way), are calling me crazy. They’re looking at me and shaking their heads, thinking that this is not a good idea.

I didn’t originally set out to run 2 marathons in 2 weeks.

That would be insane, right?


But that’s how things played out. I had signed up for and spent the bulk of the winter training for the Providence Marathon, which takes place this coming Sunday. I was going to run it in hopes of qualifying for Boston 2011. But then the Running Gods shined upon me a few weeks ago and presented an opportunity to run Boston THIS year.

What was I going to say, no?


So there you are, 2 marathons in 2 weeks. Really, it’s not my fault.

Now leading up to Boston I was convinced I was going to run a 3:20 and then be able to approach Providence as a fun run of sorts – maybe even pace some friends who are also running. Things didn’t work out quite as planned, so now there is a part of me that wonders if maybe, just maybe, I should be taking another shot at 3:20. I know, probably not so smart.

So what’s my approach going to be? I’m not really sure. Last fall, I followed up my meltdown at Manchester by scorching a huge Half-Marathon PR (7 minutes) just two weeks later. The thing is, this is not a half-marathon we’re talking about this Sunday. My thought is to start slow and easy and do a self-diagnostic every three miles or so. If I feel good, maybe speed up a little. If I don’t, well, no pressure, I ran a marathon less than 2 weeks ago, right?

As for wondering whether I’ve lost my sanity simply for running a second marathon so close to the first, I can’t help but think of Sam of Operation Jack, who is running 60 marathons this year to help raise autism awareness and Martin of Marathon Quest 250, who is running a ridiculous 250 marathons this year in an effort to raise $250,000 for Right To Play. (Right To Play is an international, humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.)

One of them is running just over a marathon a week. The other is running nearly 5 a week. 2 in 2 weeks sounds a lot less crazy now, don’t you think? Of course, they are doing it because they are passionate about their causes. I, on the other hand, am running them because of dumb luck. Well, how about I give a little purpose to this? If you are so inclined or moved by the giving spirit, please donate $22 (for 2 in 2 weeks) to your favorite charity. If you don’t have one, feel free to donate to one of my favorites: Autism Speaks or Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Click on either of their names to be taken directly to their donation pages.

Whether it’s one of my charities or Martin’s or Sam’s charities or one of your own, if you let me know by Saturday evening, let’s say 8PM EST, to whom you donated to and in whose name, I’ll write your name, the name of the charity and the person you are honoring either on my arm or my leg for the marathon.

Maybe this makes me a little less crazy – or just crazy with a purpose. Either way, the answer is yes. Yes, I really am doing this.

I hope to have your name written on my arm or leg on Sunday.

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The other day I ran 16.7 miles. Right, so what?

It’s not the 16.7 miles that has me writing this post. It is what the run meant, to me anyway.

I have a friend Mike. I have known him since our college days. I owe him. He took me in after I graduated from college.  At the time I had no idea what I was doing with myself.  He was attending his sophomore summer and had a room in our fraternity all to himself.  Or so he thought.   When I arrived at his door a few weeks into the term, he very happily put me up on his couch for the rest of the summer.   I stayed, rent free, for nearly two months. He never complained – not once.  Over that summer, Mike became one of my dearest friends.

Years later, unbeknownst to me, Mike came dangerously close to losing a battle with a liver condition.  With the help of a team of doctors here in Boston, he fought back, got healthy and is now looking to pay it forward by running with the American Liver Foundation’s Run For Research Team in this year’s Boston Marathon.  This will be his first marathon.

What does this have to do with me?  What does this have to with 16.7 miles?

The Boston Marathon has been a dream of mine for a little over a year now.  The idea of running the same race the Kelly’s, Katherine Switzer, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit, and Alberto Salazar all ran is something that I find absolutely exhilarating, but as many of you know, one cannot just sign up for Boston.  One must either run for a charity team like my good friend Mike or qualify for the race by running another marathon within a certain amount of time.  I have nothing against charities.  In fact, as a family we have worked very hard to raise funds for both big (Autism Speaks, St. Jude’s) and little (the Autism Alliance of Metrowest, Playground funds, Pre-School Programs) organizations.  But very early on, I decided that I wanted to run Boston because I had qualified.  It will require my running a 3:20:59 or better marathon.  I am not there yet, but I hope to within the next year or two.  I digress.

Mike has chosen a different, and in some ways more admirable and selfless path.  His desire to run Boston has put him in a position to help those who helped him.

Mike signed up to run and has been fairly successful in raising funds for his team.  However, he was having some difficulty with the long runs.  When he first started his training, he very happily drove down to where the team was meeting every Saturday with the hopes of spending the next 2 hours or so chatting with other runners.  What he found though is that many of them would plug-in their ear buds and zone out for the bulk of the run.  I can relate to that.  I do it quite frequently when I am running my long runs…alone.  Having limited experience at running for long distances, Mike feared that he would struggle to stay focused on his own.  He doesn’t run with music so I can totally understand why he would be think that.

So when he emailed me a week or so ago and asked if I wanted to join him for a scheduled 14.5 miler, I said I was game.  I hadn’t run more than 13.1 since November, but “what the heck”, it would be nice to get a truly long run in.  We had a great time chatting for two and a half hours.  We even went an extra couple of miles, finishing the day at 16.7.  It was the most pleasant long run I have had to date.  No hurries, just running with a friend, chatting pretty much non-stop for the entire run.

At the end of the run (it was both the longest time – 2:35:00 – and distance he had ever covered) he looked at me and thanked me, saying that he didn’t think he would have made it to the end without the company.  I frowned.  It may have been more of a struggle had he been on his own, but I told him he would have finished just fine.  He thanked me nonetheless.

My point is this: we may not have the time nor the inclination to dedicate ourselves full-time towards a particular charity or what have you, but during these unsure times, the very least we can do is help those who are helping others.  Did I accomplish a huge feat in running those 16.7 miles?  Did I “make the difference” in how Mike has raised money for the liver team? No, absolutely not.  My contribution to his run was three hours out of my weekend.

A drop in the bucket.

But drop by drop, the rain fills the bucket.

You can find Mike here.

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