Running Down a Dream is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to creating a world where every kid has the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be and search for and reach their dreams and aspirations in life. We do this by working with kids so they can connect with our organization which provides them with a pair of running shoes, education, and training so they can actively pursue their dreams and goals.
The benefits of sports and physical activity are well documented in how they can transform a child’s life. While some families have the financial stability to enroll their kids into team or individual sports, many do not. The result is that some kids never are given the chance to succeed outside of the classroom.
When our founder, Shawn Barnett, thought about how he could change the world, the first thing that came to mind was how the world changed him. That was through his time as a kid in his running community. From a very young age, his father, Jeff, took him on his long runs, while Shawn would bike along side him and eventually run with him as he got older. Having run his first half marathon at the age of 8, and going on to run 6 more before he was 12 years old, Shawn always found himself surrounded by great people in the running community. As Shawn got older, he began to get more interested in giving back and working with kids to try and coach them on how they could best stay healthy and reach goals they never thought were possible.
That is why he founded Running Down A Dream.
We’ve worked on improving the lives of hundreds of young kids and teens.
Young people from many different backgrounds have a huge impact on us and all our activities. Running Down a Dream offers kids a place, outside of school, for them to make new friends, set and reach goals, learn about living a healthy lifestyle, and get rewarded.
We need your help!
While we are still a new organization, we are doing everything we can to partner with schools and other local organizations to grow our charitable impact. We are happy to be growing and helping more day by day.
We partner with organizations and companies around Central Texas to collect gently used shoes and provide new ones to our organization. We also collect monetary donations and purchase new shoes through our connections with various shoe vendors.
When gently used shoes are donated to us, every pair goes through a very thorough and purposeful cleaning process to make sure that every pair given to a child is just like new.
Either by participating through the kids school, applying for the program through our application process, or by coming out to one of our events, kids can join our program in many different ways. Our program is for all kids, regardless of their current athletic level.
Every kid who is a part of our organization, will receive their own pair of running shoes upon joining the organization. they join. If a kid is a returning member, they have the ability to receive new shoes depending on their activity level.
Using various training methods based on each kid’s appropriate distance, speed, and experience, we prepare each kid with an accurate training schedule they can follow so that they are ready to perform well once they choose a race to participate in.
When our athletes complete their training and their desired race, they will be given a choice of reward to celebrate their success. These rewards could include free tickets to sporting events, free pairs of shoes, free gift cards, and many other choices.