Run for Change was founded by a local runner Benji Chu in 2010 because he realized the power of running, “it made me a healthier, happier, more discipline person and built up my confidence”, says Benji. Benji ran in many marathons over the years and raised money for Charity, but he knew the greatest power was not from fundraising but from running and felt that others could benefit from this same sense of empowerment and achievement, so he started Run For Change (RFC) .
RFC works in partnership with Carnegie Community Centre and its aim is to introduce low-income, shelter, recovery and homeless people living in Vancouver’s Downtown East side to a healthier, more active lifestyle through regular running/walking. Run for Change also provides running shoes and running clothes to those that need them, and sponsors its participants in local running events, such as the Vancouver Sun Run, as well it organizes its own annual 5km fun run in August that is free of charge to participants. This annual run provides people with an opportunity to set a goal, and it recognizes their achievements by giving out medals, food, t-shirts and an opportunity to win draw prizes, simply by crossing the finish line and making an effort.
As of March 2012, Run For Change is officially the Run For Change Society, a registered non-profit society and is an official partner with Carnegie Community Centre. RFC is currently working on becoming a registered charity.
Our primary mission is to provide shelter, low-income, recovery and homeless people with a viable community that supports their path to a better life through free regular running/walking programs and event. RFC aims to be a tool of empowerment that gives participants the opportunity to set goals, build their confidence and make positive life changes. Our secondary mission is to develop role models and mentors from the DTES who can understand the participants’ unique needs and serve as an invaluable network of support.
Our vision is to develop a community of people that support and encourage commitment and goal setting through a more active lifestyle, and to recognize the efforts an achievements of participants to empower positive change.