Moving America Forward

He’s Only 16, but His Generosity Is Already Worthy of a Movie

January 20, 2014
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He’s Only 16, but His Generosity Is Already Worthy of a Movie
Jayme O'Rourke/Wikipedia
Zach Bonner's tireless philanthropy helps the needy.

Some seven-year-olds’ biggest project is learning to kick a soccer ball, but Zach Bonner was more ambitious at that age. In 2004, after Hurricane Charley struck his home town of Tampa, Fla., Bonner was determined to help people by pulling his red wagon down the street to collect disaster relief supplies. He ended up gathering 27 truckloads of goods, and distributed them to needy families. He then started a non-profit organization, the Little Red Wagon Foundation. Since then, Bonner has been taking epic walks to raise awareness about homeless children in America.

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He started in 2007 by walking from Tampa to Tallahassee. He kept increasing the distances, and in 2010 completed a six-month walk from Tampa to Los Angeles. In March 2013, Bonner lived in a plexiglass box to raise awareness for the living conditions of homeless people and collect food donations—6000 cans worth, which he donated to a local shelter. Bonner’s life and contributions strike so many as remarkable that he’s already inspired a movie, 2012’s “Little Red Wagon.” What’s his secret? Bonner, now 16, told Rich Polt of Talking Good, “Just get out and do it. If you think about it too much you will think of a million reasons why you can’t do it. Realize that you have incredible power as an individual … you really can change the world.”

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