#CLTruns4wards: let’s do more.

Dream big.
Touch as many lives as possible.
Do as much good as you can.
Never give up.

I am so stoked to finally share a huge project and collaboration with a local non-profit and friend of mine that I have been working on the last few months! Right now, more than ever, we need to be doing more DIRECTLY for our communities. So many have asked what is it that I’m doing beyond my social media. Well, it’s finally time to show you…

Little ideas always turn into big ones for me. Most people tell you to start small and then go big. Well I do, but I always go big within minutes of my small idea. And that’s what happened with #CLTruns4Wards.
While organizing things at my parents house I started putting bags of items together to give to those I passed on the Greenways during my runs. However that small idea didn’t stay small very long. Not long after I realized I could get the whole city involved in something to bring bags to more than just a few.

Why just share with a few when we can bring to many?
Collaborating with RunningWorks and a few other empowered individuals to make this happen has been amazing.

So what does RunningWorks do? This non’s profit’s mission is to “use sport to empower individuals and families to break cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness one stride at a time.” This organization runs multiple programs for Recovering Women, Young Adults, Youth, and Adults. They leave no one behind and did not hesitate to join in on making this project happen.

So what are we doing? What is this all about?

It only takes opening our eyes while walking, running or visiting Uptown Charlotte to realize that our homeless population has increased. We see more men, women, teens and even children living in the direst of circumstances on the street, in piles of blankets in front of buildings, at bus stops, on park benches and around the transit center. We are calling on our community to serve those who are not reaching out for help within our regular throng of coordinated daily services.

Our goal? Initially showing these individuals they aren’t invisible and providing them with tools to help them move forward.
Long term? Falling in line with the goal of ending homelessness in Charlotte and getting these clean and guys off the streets. It takes time and in most cases a reminder of humanity to start that process.

We are already identifying the areas to deliver backpacks and getting an official count of people to bring bags to.

Over the week of February 20th-24th, we are enlisting local Run groups to help us deliver these bags packed with blankets, fuel, water/reusable water bottles, socks, hygiene products, and a few other essentials.
Wait what?
We will break up the runs by run groups per neighborhood. Run clubs exist. By enlisting those groups to run with these backpacks and help us deliver them, we are going to reach more people in our city. BUT we are not just going to drop and go. We are going to work with our passionate run community to talk with individuals on the delivery date. Even further, individuals who have been empowered and helped by RunningWorks are going to help us with this project. These guys are going to help us pay it forward and teach us a thing or two. We will also have a shoe wagon following to replace any shoes someone needs or even get a person without shoes a new pair.

This is what I have at my studio! RunningWorks has the rest!

What else do we need?
We currently have amazing donations from:

KIND Bars
Blankets donated by Dillard’s
Dental Hygiene products provided by PEARL, Charlotte, and others
Feetures! Socks
Water Bottles provided by Elevation Church
Shoes
Laminated Maps to Emergency Service locations in Charlotte
Rain Ponchos*
Handwarmers*

What do we need more of?
We need more general hygiene products like deodorants, some feminine products, lotions, hand sanitizers, etc.
We need additional hats and gloves.
Additional NEW sturdy/heavy duty backpacks *

Not local but want to donate? Head to this DONATION page and put #CLTruns4Wards in the special instructions! 

WHERE TO DONATE?
This weekend RunningWorks will have a tent at the SuperBowl 4 Miler in Charlotte on Feb 5! You won’t be able to miss it. Pack a bag or bring a monetary donation to sponsor one of these bags!
Can’t make it? Either Ultra Running Store location has graciously agreed to store donations for us!

Want to donate in an even larger way?
Contact both myself or Meredith copying info@smasheton.com and meredith@runningworks.org

You don’t have to be part of the run clubs to be part of this run!
We will put out more information closer to the delivery dates for how to be there.

RunningWorks Tax Id: 45-4505930

I’ll be updating with more information as we go with follow up blogs and absolutely updating this page if anything changes!

I am so stoked for this and can’t wait to see more of it come to life!

  • These will be purchased in bulk, your monetary donation will help pay for these!

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask below!

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