People who inspire us to become a better person come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, and different age groups. It's even more special when a child is doing amazing things to better our community. 

Zechariah Cartledge is a 12-year-old from Florida on a mission.

According to the Running4Heroes Facebook page, the non-profit organization was founded in 2019 by a then 10-year old (now 12). Cartledge seeks to raise funds for injured First Responders, while also paying tribute to our Fallen Heroes through running.

Zechariah will be running in Independence this Saturday

The young man will run a mile in honor of fallen hero Iowa State Trooper Sergeant James K. Smith. Smith died in the line of duty. He was tragically shot and killed after a chase in Grundy County on Friday, April 9th, 2021.

Cartledge will be running carrying the blue line flag this Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m. at Independence JR/SR High School (700 20th Ave SW).  Zechariah is encouraging citizens and agencies to join him in a 1-mile walk or run. 

As the Running4Heroes website mentions that Cartledge "was raised with an appreciation for First Responders and all they do for the community.  As he grew older, Zechariah decided to help the families of our fallen First Responders in a meaningful way. "

“These families sacrifice more than we will ever know. If I can bring even a little joy back into their lives, it is worth it all. They are the reason I run.”


Donate to those in need, when they need it the most

Donations received go towards purchasing American flags, that Zechariah holds when he runs. He then presents that flag to the honored First Responder family. Donations also help provide financial relief to injured First Responders and their families. To donate click here.

In the past three years, Cartledge has run 925 overall miles in 18 different states. This will be his first time in Iowa. It would be nice to think someday Zechariah wouldn't have to run anymore. But until then. Keep running Zechariah, you're an inspiration to us all.

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