In 2004 when Hurricane Charley was headed to the gulf coast of Florida, most of us prepared for the worst. It is the only time in my 32 years as a Floridian that my family and I evacuated as a storm approached. As Charley approached Florida it took a sudden right turn and made a direct hit on Punta Gorda instead of the Tampa Bay area. Young Zach Bonner, then age 7, lived in Tampa and watched the storm coverage on television. He saw the needs of the people who had lost everything in the storm and he felt compassion for them. He knew his family and lots of other families in his community had stocked up on storm supplies so he started going door-to-door pulling his little red wagon to collect supplies for the hurricane victims. Zach collected over 27 pick-up truck loads of supplies to help storm victims.
Spurred on by his passion for others, at the age of 8 Zach formed the Little Red Wagon Foundation to help homeless kids across the country. In 2007 Zach kicked off his “My House to the White House” campaign walked from Tampa to Tallahassee (280 miles) to raise awareness of the plight of homeless children. In 2008 he walked from Tallahassee to Atlanta (250 miles) and in 2009 from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. (668 miles). Once he completed that 3 year goal he decided to walk across the United States! From March 23-September 14, 2010 Zach walked from Tampa, FL to Los Angeles, CA (2448 miles).
The Philanthropy Project has partnered with Zach Bonner to tell his story and inspire young people to help others by creating the film Little Red Wagon. The film opens tomorrow, November 9, 2012 in Tampa and St Louis in limited release and in other cities at the end of the month. I had the opportunity to watch the film and I feel this inspirational film should be shown to kids across this country to see that one person can make a difference.
Soon Zach will be visiting schools in the Tampa area and showing the students how to put together “Zach packs” or bag packs filled with essentials we take for granted (food, socks, toothbrushes, combs, band-aids) that the schools will then give away to homeless kids and their families.
Keep your eyes and ears open for when/if this film comes to your area. You and your kids will be inspired by this story of one passionate young man.
Disclosure: I received a screener of this movie for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions are 100% mine.