Here’s a brief overview of Caleb Chung’s Team World Vision history:
- 2013: Ran a 1-mile race; raised $900
- 2014: Ran a 5K; raised $3,500
- 2015: Recruited a team of 5 friends; ran his first half marathon; raised over $45,000
- 2016: Running another half marathon this September; $10,000 goal
Did we mention Caleb is 11 years old?
“When I was about 8, my parents started telling me about kids my age in Africa who had to walk miles to get water that wasn’t even safe to drink,” Caleb told us, “And I wanted to do something to help because it wasn’t their fault.”
At first, Caleb set up lemonade stands to raise money. But he wanted to do more. His parents were running with Team World Vision in Colorado, so Caleb asked if he could run too. He started with a 1 Mile race, but by his third year on the team, a TWV staff member proposed the idea of Caleb running the half marathon. “It seemed like a long shot,” Caleb said, “But then I started thinking about it. Kids had to walk distances as long as this for water that wasn’t even clean. So after looking at the training plan, I decided to sign up.”
But Caleb didn’t just sign up. He also got five of his friends to run with him. “I told them the same thing that I had learned about kids that had to walk for water and they were moved too,” Caleb said. They called themselves the Little Tsunamis, and together provided clean water to over 1,100 people in Africa.
No one can say it better than Caleb himself:
On training: “I usually run after school. I just think about the kids and I imagine them at the same time that I am running, I imagine them walking for water. Even though what I am doing is hard, it’s not as hard as what they have to go through.”
On fundraising: “Most of it was just being consistent. I sent an email to everyone I knew asking for donations. I also asked in person. Once someone gave me a donation I made sure to say thank you. And every once and while I would send out a mass email with how many kids had been saved, thank everyone, and say that there were still more [kids] to be saved. My original goal was $10,000 which I thought I wouldn’t achieve. But as the donations started coming in, I kept raising my goal. I was surprised because I didn’t expect people to be this generous.”
So what’s next for Caleb? He’s currently signed up for the American Discovery Trail Half Marathon in September. “This year I’m starting at $10,000 again. My goal is to save as many kids as I can.”
Caleb, we are so honored to have you on Team World Vision, and so inspired by your incredible passion and tenacity to help kids around the world. Thank you for giving so much of yourself on behalf of kids in need. You are a world-changer. Never forget it.
What Caleb might not tell you is that he’s less than $500 away from becoming a Team World Vision Legend! If you want to help Caleb hit an epic milestone of $50,000 raised, you can donate to his effort here.
Also, he gave an incredible speech at the 2016 World Vision Conference. You can watch it here!