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Local running club surprises strangers with gifts across Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Cutting through the scorching Midwest summer heat is a pack of positive energy. Two friends, Casey Crouse and Trevor DeWitt, hatched this bold plan back in May. 

“We would run 10 miles a day, for 100 days straight, for a total of 1,000 miles through the neighborhoods of Indianapolis,” Crouse said. 

Alongside a group of regular local runners, the One Thousand One City project is officially off the runway, stepping through Indianapolis streets and stopping to listen to anyone willing to talk.

“We aren’t pitching anything, we aren’t selling anything, we are just here to chat and we are coming to your neighborhood,” DeWitt said.

The project is nearly halfway complete and on pace to meet its goal of running 1,000 miles in just 100 days.

The morning and afternoon jogs through countless neighborhoods both around downtown Indianapolis are blurring together just a little bit. But, as WISH-TV quickly found out, the smiles and the stories they are receiving along the way, are going to last well beyond 100 days.

“It has been incredible so far, some people have laughed with us, prayed with us, and we have had people cry with us,” Crouse said.

One afternoon, the crew of Crouse, DeWitt and four friends were lucky enough to meet one of the most outgoing five-year-olds anywhere: Sinaya West.

Sinaya and her father Aareck happened to be walking through Dr. Martin Luther King Park when the pack of runners halted to make conversation with the pair.

Quickly, Sinaya was challenging everyone to a race. She finished first, by a wide margin, and then was told of the big surprise: This money, from this group of strangers, is for you — for a new pair of shoes. 

“Thank you, that is so sweet,” Sinaya said. 

At times we all get caught up racing through life. But, if you are willing to slow down, the special gifts always seem to show up.

If you wish to donate to the One Thousand One City Project, click here.