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Charity Miles: How to Love Houston and Change the World in 3 Easy Steps

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This morning, while walking the dog, I marveled at how awesome Houston mornings are this time of year. The air is crisp and a little bit chilly, and the sun is shining brightly. And so, in a bold and aggressive move, I've decided to take matters out of Mother Nature's hands and into my own. I'm calling "Spring"!

In so doing, I am also calling Houston families out of hibernation and onto the paths and trails of our lovely city. I'd like to call you out for two GREAT reasons-- One, to appreciate the natural (and almost natural) beauty Houston has to offer. And two-- while marveling at our good fortune, I'd like to invite you to help change the world.

Charity Miles, is a great new way to direct money to your favorite charity (and if you don't have a favorite charity, I am here to help with that, too!) Many of us are, I am the first to acknowledge, busy, busy people. But we parents desire to give back to the community, and we are always seeking ways to keep our kids active. Our teens are always looking for efficient ways to serve in the community and get their community service hours in. In these ways, Charity Miles is a perfect match for a family on the go, because all you have to do to send donations to worthy causes is to...well...GO!

Charity Miles is a free app that you put on your mobile device. Whenever you go running, walking or cycling, you can earn money for charity. All you do is download the app, turn it on, choose your charity and press start. The app tracks your distance and the money you have earned. That's it. So every member of your family with an iPhone or Android, can participate, even in your spinning class! How cool is that?

You are asked to choose from the charities that are included on the app. I would respectfully like to recommend Shot@life, the UN Foundation's effort to provide lifesaving vaccines to children worldwide. (You can find out more about Shot@Life HERE).

Also, to be ever helpful, below, thanks to my generous online friends, is a list of Five Facebook Friends' Favorite Fun Places to walk, run and bike in Houston. I encourage you to get your family outside this weekend and throughout the Spring!

Five Facebook Friends' Favorites Fun Walks, Runs and Biking Paths In Houston

1. Shadow Creek Ranch

2. Hermann Park (Marvin Taylor Trail)

3.Rice University (hands down most popular)

4. Memorial Park

5. Your Own Neighborhood (then you can share Charity Miles with your neighbors!)

If your teens object to your suggestion, tell them they can get their exercise, reconnect with nature and change the world in three easy steps:

1. Download the app;

2. Put on their (undoubtedly new and trendy) sneakers;

3. Pick a gorgeous new Houston trail, track or spinning class and go!

How will they be able to resist something as easy as that!

Happy riding, running, walking, Friends!

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