MISSOULA, Mont. -

Runner Kyle Smith is no stranger to the Missoula Half Marathon.

“I did it twice and felt pretty good after the second time I did it and thought maybe I'll try to step it up,” said Smith.

That's exactly what he did. Smith's been training for the Full Marathon since January.

“I started training a lot earlier for the full…I think I'm ready.”

On top of that 26.2 miles he's added something else.

“Rather than me just accomplishing a goal why don't we help change the life of a little boy in Africa,” Smith said.

That boy is Yaw a 12-year-old who lives in poverty in Ghana. Smith and his wife have been sponsoring Yaw for five years, a program that started through their church.

“Once a month or every two months we get a letter back from him that answers questions and we get updated pictures of him,” said Smith. “We get to send him pictures of us and our children and our community.”

Now they're asking the community to pitch in.

“One person, one family can't change the world but if we all pitch in and step up with what we can do, we can do great things.”

The original goal for the 'Run4Yaw' campaign was to raise enough money to support yaw for a year. At $38 a month, it would take $456. But Smith said they reached that goal quickly, so they've set their sights on something bigger.

“Our new goal is what if we just were able to raise enough support to raise him all the way through adulthood, pay for his education, until he's able to get a job and support his family.”

Smith hopes to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 by race day: a goal that’s giving him one extra reason to run.

For more information on Run4Yaw click here. To go directly to the online donation page click here.

For additional information contact Brandon Smith 531-3805 or run4yaw@gmail.com