In 2012, One Spirit sent five Lakota runners to compete in the NYC Marathon. Hurricane Sandy ended their opportunity to race. The runners and their chaperons voted unanimously to pitch in with the cleanup efforts.
Team One Spirit’s marathon runners were invited back to run in the 2013 NYC Marathon where they raised money to help build a Youth Center in Allen on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the poorest town in America.
Now Team One Spirit will return to the 2014 NYC Marathon on November 2nd with the goal to build Youth Center’s on all districts on the Pine Ridge Reservation to provide safe havens for all Lakota youth.
The truth is, that even before the runners have reached the finish line, they have won. Their belief in themselves and in their people is a winning scenario for the Lakota. These runners live in the poorest place in the Western Hemisphere besides Haiti; in small homes with many extended family members; are very familiar with the pangs of hunger and extreme cold without sufficient heat; have suffered the loss of young friends and family members because of poverty conditions, and have a life expectancy of 50 years. Yet they seize the opportunity to run in order to serve as a positive inspiration and representation of the Lakota, as well as to invest in the future of the next generation of the Lakota people.
These modern day heroes run against all odds to compete in the most prestigious marathon in the world. The runners face a number of difficulties when training and traveling for running events, sometimes even competing despite being homeless.
Through their sacrifice and hard work, they hope to raise 15,000 to provide Lakota youth throughout the Pine Ridge Reservation safe, drug-free places they can come for positive programs and recreational activities to help develop healthy life-styles and overcome the hardships of living in conditions that contribute to the suicide rate being three times the national average.
These remarkable runners need your support! Contribute, or start your own fundraiser, to support these young role models in their courageous efforts for Youth Centers for all Lakota youth!