American Indian Youth Running Strong aka Running Strong for American Indian Youth

Rating: 4.89 stars   66 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Food, Human Services

Location: 8301 Richmond Higway Ste 200 Alexandria VA 22309 USA

Mission: Our mission is to help American Indian people meet their immediate survival needs - food, water and shelter - while implementing and supporting programs designed to create opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-esteem, particularly for tribal youth. Our goal is to build the capacity of communities, grassroots Indian organizations, and individuals to leverage their strengths to solve problems. Through long-term development programs such as organic gardening, housing, water resource development and healthcare, we strive to foster self-sufficiency on Indian reservations throughout the United States. BILLY MILLS, Olympic Gold Medalist and an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, serves as Running Strong's national spokesperson. He travels throughout the nation speaking to American Indian children and their families spreading his message of inspiration and opportunity for many Indian youth based on dignity, character and pride.
Target demographics: American Indian youth. We tackle complex challenges that stem from years of oppression and poverty.
Geographic areas served: American Indian communities
Programs: safe housing, basic needs, culture and language preservation, emergency assistance programs, organic gardens and food, schools and youth centers, women’s health, and seasonal programs. We implement our own programs but we also support independent groups who align with our mission, such as nonprofits, community centers, and grassroots projects. Running Strong's program involvement reaches far and wide. With our longstanding partnerships in Indian Country, we work to create sustainable change in Native communities.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My grandparents always supported American Indian Youth Running Strong. Both of them have now passed, I have always donated to this cause when I was able over the years, but since my grandfather passed I now make annual donations in memory of my grandparents every year. When I pass my children will do the same, our family will continue on with this tradition because we strongly believe in the need.

In memory of Harold J. Haley & Myrtle Haley.

Thank you,

Lisa J. McKeen

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This was the first year I was able to go on Running Strongs reservation tour. It was fantastic ! I had gone to Slim Butte working on greenhouses in 2001 and was amazed at the amount of work that volunteers and inhabitants were doing. The tour this year was well organized and everything was forseen and handled beautifully, even when the weather didn't cooperate. The highlight for me was actually meeting "The Man", himself, Billy Mills and participating in his Wacipi !

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

It took quite awhile and several visits to a reservation until I found a nonprofit that I really trust. I've met people who work with Running Strong for American Indian Youth on the reservation and am glad I found a nonprofit that has native people doing the work themselves instead of just outsiders who want to 'save the Indians'. It's great how Billy Mills honors his own legacy by passing on hope, optimism, and encouragement to his own people. A true hero, not only because he ran fast. Whenever I can I'll be happy to share what I can. But this is nothing much compared to Billy's and his wife's presence among his people. A true role model in a time when we really need it.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Over the years, I've felt that Running Strong for American Indian Youth and Billy and Pat Mills have done a great deal for the Indian youth. I feel it is a worthwhile recipient of my donations.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This organization is one of the best we have to offer youth as an inspirational boost. A great deal of this influence is due to the support given by Billy Mills' winner of the first gold medal given to a Native American Indian in 1964.
Some years ago I received a video and wore it out showing it to youth of all ages.
In the video Billy recalled what gave him the impetus to compete and win.
THIS VIDEO SHOULD BE WIDELY SEEN BY OUR YOUTH OF ALL BACKGROUNDS IN THIS YEAR OF OLYNPIC COMPETITION.
In my opinion, the WORLD would greatly benefit from this as well. Send me a CD of this video and I will take it to our local tv stations to show as an example of what former Olympic champions are presently accomplishing with Olympic spirit! God bless and keep you all! Joyce Mena

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give it more publicity

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

This program is the only one that I donate to through the Combined Federal Campaign because of Billy Mills, himself. In 1964 I watched the Olympics and was one of millions who saw Billy Mills win a Gold Medal in the 10,000 meter track event and yet hardly anybody knew who he was. Even the announcers were scrambling to figure out who he was and where he came from. I have never fogotten that nor did I ever forget Mr. Mills. Donating to AIYR is my way to honor Mr. Mills achievements not only as an Olympic champion but for all that he has done over the years. He truly has a giving spirit and attitude. AIYR programs insure that American Indian youth are not ignored nor forgotten. AIYR programs build self-confidence and once a person has that they can take on the world - just like Billy Mills did. I also appreciate the AIYR reminder postcard featuring the CFC number. CathieDavids@yahoo.com, Flint, Michigan

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2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have a friend who has supported the Running Strong program for some time, but has only recently shared it with me. He is highly supportive of it, and has great things to say about it. He has made me a believer in offering support as well. I am sending a contribution today. As someone with Native American blood (1/16 Cherokee), I am sensitive to the needs and the plight of the American Indian. Though I am happy to say that I have not had to feel the discrimination often associated with the Native American culture, I am not ignorant of it. I applaud those who are willing to make the effort to make a difference. My hope is that the gifts given make a marked difference, in a personal way, to those who receive the benefits of them. I look forward to a long-lasting friendship with this organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a supporter of Running Strong for a few years now, and I think that not only is founder Billy Mills an American hero with an inspiring life story, but what he and the Running Strong organization are doing is even more heroic! What better way to help a forgotten portion of our population than to lend aid to the native Indian children in this country! I have also shopped at their "store" for some wonderful handmade gifts for Christmases and birthdays. The organization has always been open and forthcoming with keeping supporters up-to-date on what's happening with their funds. This is one charity that I have absolutely no hesitation in supporting!

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2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Billy Mills is a true American hero whose amazing story now includes saving the lives of Native American children! His charitable efforts in organizing Running Strong are truly inspiring. The United States owes a huge debt to the Native Americans. What better way to pay that debt than to be able to help provide basic needs and the chance for education and a good life to the children of our Native American tribes, of whom I'm proud to share some blood (Cherokee).

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2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have supported Running Strong for American Youth for nearly 25 years. It is an organization that works WITH the people it serves. It doesn't TELL people what they need, it ASKS them and then Running Strong and the people work together to do what is necessary to meet the need. On one of their Reservation Tours we had the opportunity to visit many of the ongoing projects and the people involved. We came away with an even stronger desire to support their efforts. Their projects are successful and run efficiently. We have never seen an organization do so much with so little. Those who benefit from these projects are most appreciative and do what they can to pass on the good to others. We are so grateful to be able to help support such an excellent organization. We often give extra donations as Christmas gifts.


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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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