CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Florida teen is using his passion for running to honor officer Sherman Benys.
Watch the video provided by Running 4 Heroes below.
13-year-old Zechariah Cartledge is the face of Running 4 Heroes, a non-profit that pays tribute to fallen or injured first responders.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to be doing this mission,” Cartledge said.
Cartlidge started the organization in 2019 out of Winter Springs, Florida.
“They go out there and give it their all to help and protect people they don’t even know in their community,” Cartledge said.
Every single day Cartledge runs a mile for fallen first responders, using his weekends to travel across the country.
“I’ve done over a thousand and forty miles in the past two years which is obviously a thousand forty first responders,” Cartledge said.
While he runs, he holds a flag that will be donated to the family left behind.
Cartledge originally received a phone call from a family member of officer Benys. The two had previously met at the Houston airport.
“There was this gate agent who organized a meet and greet with the Houston first responders,” Cartledge said.
That gate agent was Benys' cousin, so when the tragedy happened, he called Cartledge.
“The least I can do is go out there and let the department and the family know that we have their support and we want to let them know that they will never be forgotten,” Cartledge said.
With the help of donations, the organization has been able to give $180,000 to 24 injured first responders.
“Even though it seems like it’s impressive that I’ve been able to do that many miles, I would always love when the miles are less because of the reason,” Cartledge said.
To donate or watch the run, visit the Running 4 Heroes website.