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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

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.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Joanne54


Rating: 5

I commend your cause I agree that native American people deserve rights and equality. After all the years of oppression it is about time to give them a voice and run strong.



Rating: 5

I was fortunate to hear him speak several years ago. His values and the way he has chosen to serve his people and use his gift to benefit them. His speech I can pretty much repeat today it was that impactful.
wado Billy!

4 Patricia112


Rating: 5

Hello! I have been involved with Running Strong since 1984! This is a fantastic charity with incredible dedicated people working on behalf of Native America! Onward Running Strong!

3 jmurray264


Rating: 5

I have donated to Running Strong many times over the years. I have taken the tour- visited the Pine Ridge Reservation many times and gotten to know many of the people involved in Running Strong- the good they do can not be measured- they teach as well as help- the HARD work the do year after year is unbelievable
and all is done from the heart- Thank You Running Strong!!

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

I have seen 1st hand the impact Running Strong has on the reservation (Pine Ridge). The very hard work those involved with Running Strong do. I took the tour many years ago and have continued to be involved with the reservation and people on a personal level. The work re: Running Strong does must be gotten out to as many as possible. It definitely deserves to get on the 2012 Non-profit list.

2 Christine95


Rating: 5

I LOVE Toys for Tribes! Getting names and imagining what the kids would like is my way of getting in touch with the spirit of the season at year's end. Toys for Tribes is a great way to combat any feelings of the holidays being over-commercialized. I think to myself- I am lucky to have many choices for shopping, and price competition, for good prices. One year a little girl wanted a play purse, so I got her that, but then I filled it with make-believe cards I made - driver license, ATM cards, library card, voter registration card, note pad and fancy pen, chocolate coins, key chain with some old keys, lip balm, a change purse with a little "mad money." I hope she liked playing with it. I loved putting it together for her. I think that with Toys for Tribes, Billy Mills and his staff brings many levels of warmth to all of us at the coldest time of the year.



Rating: 5

Running Strong for American Indian Youth is an incredible non-profit, chartiable organization. Running Strong provides assistance to some of the poorest people in the U.S with providing fresh water wells, food, supplies and shelter. They also provide youth and elder programs for Native Americans. I have been raising funds and promoting Running Strong for 4 years by parfticipating on their running team in the Marine Corps Marathon. It is a great feeling to assist an outsanding organiztion hepling others who are not as fortunate.