A young boy decided to created an organization dedicated to first responders who have been on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic. He runs in honor of the people who risk their lives every day.
Zechariah Cartledge takes his passion for running and turns it into a purpose that means so much more.
“This is gonna honor lots of CSRA officers from the GA and South Carolina area so I just want this run to be the best as possible,” Zechariah said.
Inspired by the bravery of fallen First Responders, Zechariah created Running 4 Heroes to pay respects those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
“I just want people to know when they watch my runs and my tribute miles to remember these fallen first responders because I want the family and the whole department of the first responders that I run for specifically in that mile to know that we will never forget their fallen first responders.”
Fans cheered on Zechariah as he ran alongside first responders. His dad Chad says he’s one of his son’s biggest fans and admires the passion he has at such a young age.
“It’s really cool to see to know that he’s only 12 and doing something so big it’s pretty awesome,” Chad Cartledge said.
Since starting his non profit, Zechariah has run a total of 890 miles and raised over $120,000 to seventeen different first responder recipients. He plans to continue Running 4 Heroes until he’s 16 before passing on the torch to another inspired kid.
“I then plan when I’m 16 to 18 to pass it down to a kid that’s 9 or 10 at that time and I plan that he or she will continue the running until they are around my age and I plan it will keep passing on for as long as possible,” Zechariah said.
Cartledge’s advice for other kids looking to follow a similar path.
“It’s very easy to start doing something even if it doesn’t have a big impact like mine when it comes to followers. It’s very easy to start your own non profit or foundation, all you need to do is have an inspiration and you know people that can stand behind it. If any kids out there have an inspiration to help other people, it’s very easy to do and I would say 100% go for it,” Zechariah said.
Zechariah’s next stop will be Indiana in a 5k run honoring two fallen first responders in that area. Check out, Running 4 Heroes, for information on how you can donate and join the cause of running for fallen first responders.