Zach Bonner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zach Bonner
Zach Bonner head shot 2008.jpg
Head shot of Bonner in 2008
Born (1997-11-17) November 17, 1997 (age 16)

Zachary "Zach" L. Bonner (born November 17, 1997) is an American philanthropist and founder of the non-profit charity Little Red Wagon Foundation.[1][2] Bonner received the Presidential Service Award in 2006.

When he was seven years old, he founded the organization to aid the 1.3 million homeless children in the United States.[1] Bonner said that, "These kids don't have a home, they don't have a safe place to sleep at night. They're out on the streets not because they want to be, but because it's out of their control."[2]

In 2007, Bonner began his three-stage "My House to the White House" project. The project's purpose was to raise money and awareness for homeless children. In 2007, he walked 280 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee, Florida, while in 2008, he covered 250 miles from Tallahassee to Atlanta, Georgia. In the final leg of the trip, he walked 668 miles from Georgia to Washington D.C. Upon the completion of the "My House to the White House" project, Bonner planned another project, March Across America. From March 23 to September 14, 2010, he walked 2,448 miles from Tampa to Los Angeles. Starring Chandler Canterbury as Bonner, Little Red Wagon, a docudrama about Bonner's philanthropic work, was filmed in 2010 and released in 2012.

Philanthropy[edit]

Bonner with friends and Volunteer Florida staff members

Bonner has done a variety of volunteer work since he was six years old.[3] In 2004, when Hurricane Charley hit neighborhoods, he collected 27 pickup trucks of water in his little red wagon.[4] He established the Little Red Wagon Foundation to "continue helping kids more efficiently".[2] Bonner teamed up with the StandUp For Kids and collected 400 backpacks of supplies, nicknamed "Zachpacks", for homeless children. The Zachpacks were filled with donated snacks, toys, and toiletries. To date he has distributed over 10,000 of the Zachpacks.[5]

Bonner organized Christmas parties for homeless children living in Baker, Louisiana,[5] and he gave Christmas presents to Hurricane Katrina victims.[6] To mitigate the adverse effects of homelessness, Bonner host parties for children who live in shelters at Build-A-Bear Workshop, Chuck E. Cheese's, and Six Flags.[7]

In April 2007, he organized 24 Hours, an event that simulated being homeless for 24 hours. During that period of time, students in high school stayed in their own separate boxes for 24 hours.[8]

In January 2010, he launched a national campaign to end child homelessness. As keynote speaker at The Children's Philanthropy Center Annual Youth Symposium in Northern Virginia, he inspired young activists to use their voice to create change. The message, "You Matter! Let Your Voice Be Heard" became the signature anthem for their youth advocacy movement.[9]

My House to the White House[edit]

Zach Bonner's "My House to the White House" project took place in three stages covering 1,225 miles to raise awareness and funds for homeless children. The first leg in 2007 from November 3–26 covered 280 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee, Florida and raised $25,000.[10][11] The second leg in the fall of 2008 covered over 250 miles from Tallahassee to Atlanta, Georgia.[4]

The third leg of the trip began May 11, 2009.[12][13] The 668-mile, 59-day walk from Georgia to Washington D.C. was completed on July 10.[14] On the final stretch of the walk, 500 people, among them 300 homeless children, walked with Bonner down the National Mall.[15] Bonner met with Saxby Chambliss and spoke with several other U.S. Senators on Capitol Hill.[14] He slept at the Sasha Bruce emergency shelter.[16]

March Across America[edit]

There's an ancient Chinese proverb: 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' Most people don't walk a thousand miles, or 2,500, but what it really means is that we all need to take that first step to get something big done. If I've helped even one homeless child, I hope I've accomplished that.

Zach Bonner on September 14, 2010[17]

In 2010, he walked from Tampa to Los Angeles.[16] Calling the trip "March Across America", he began the 2,478-mile walk on March 23, 2010.[18] Bonner walked an average of 17–22 miles every day.[19] During his walk, he gave gift cards to people in need.[20] Multiple television and radio stations tracked for their viewers Bonner's journey across America using the "Zach Tracker" GPS.[21] Lee Cowan of NBC Nightly News '​ "Making A Difference" profiled Bonner in early August; Cowan called Bonner a "pint-sized philanthropist".[20] On the show, Bonner said that "When you're having a bad day you (have) to realize that someone else is having a lot worse of a day than you."[20]

Bonner planned to complete the walk by September, after 178 days of walking.[22] On September 14, 2010, Bonner completed the nearly 2,500-mile-walk to Los Angeles.[23] At the age of 12, he became the youngest person to walk from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast of the United States.[24]

Zach In A Box[edit]

Beginning March 26, 2013,[25] Bonner lived seven days in a 512 cubic feet (14.5 m3) plexiglas box in a field near Westfield Brandon mall.[25][26] With plywood serving as the box's bottom, pieces of cardboard, and a sleeping bag, Bonner aimed to imitate a homeless person's lodgings.[26]

Naming his fundraising effort "Zach In A Box", he encourage peopled to donate nonperishable food. He wanted to coat all four walls of his box with donated canned food items.[26] After seven days of donations from children and adults as well as a $1,000 donation from Sweetbay Supermarket, Bonner gave 6,000 cans of food to Metropolitan Ministries and Francis House.[25]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Bonner receives the President's Volunteer Service Award from President Bush

In 2006, Zach has received the Presidential Service Award from President George W. Bush.[27] In the same year, he was honored with the Points of Light Award by Florida governor Jeb Bush for his volunteer service.[28] Bonner has met George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.[29] He has been featured on Good Morning America[30] and in 2011 was named a hometown hero by Reader's Digest.[31]

In 2007, Bonner was named one of 12 "Huggable Heroes" by the Build-A-Bear Workshop.[32][33] On March 19, 2008, he received the Alexandra Scott Butterfly Award from the Volvo for life Awards, hosted by Volvo on 42nd Street.[34] In 2009, the readers and editors of Beliefnet chose Bonner as the Most Inspiring Person of the Year. Receiving 22% of the vote, Bonner defeated the "hero pilot" Chesley Sullenberger and students in Iran who protested against a rigged election despite considerable jeopardy to their lives.[3]

Elton John donated $25,000 to Bonner's cause after Bonner completed the 1,200-mile-walk from Tampa, Florida, to Washington, D.C..[35]

Philanthropy Project movie[edit]

Main article: Little Red Wagon

Michael Guillen, the CEO of the non-profit organization Philanthropy Project, planned to make a $5 million movie about the Zach Bonner's walks and the Little Red Wagon Foundation.[14][35][36] Bonner's story was selected from among a pool of 6,000 candidates. After the number of candidates was narrowed to 12, Bonner's story was unanimously chosen.[37] Praising Bonner for his philanthropy, Guillen said that "[h]e's sincere. He's humble. He's generous. He's everything that is good about our country. So... when I see Zach, I see the future of our country, and I think we're going to be in good hands."[38]

Patrick Sheane Duncan is the movie's screenwriter, and David Anspaugh is its director.[37] The John Templeton Foundation funded the film which was produced by Michael Guillen of Philanthropy Project, Barbara Kelly, and Steve Golin and David Kanter of Anonymous Content.[39] Little Red Wagon was filmed in May 2010.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Zach L. Bonner[41] was born in Searcy, Arkansas[42] on November 17, 1997.[43][44] He lives in a single-parent household[19] after losing his father in a motorcycle accident[45] and now resides in Valrico, Tampa, Florida with his mother Laurie and sister Kelley.[28][46] Bonner's mother is a real estate agent and investor.[41] His sister is about 10 years older than he.[28]

Bonner takes classes on the Internet through the K12 Florida Virtual Instruction Program. The online program allows him to keep up in his studies by outside of the typical school day.[44][47] In his free time in 2007, Bonner played little league baseball.[8] He also played tennis and went on bike rides with his friends.[29] When he was three years old, Bonner joined Taekwondo's junior program and after years of study, he subsequently earned a black belt.[47]

In a November 2007 interview with The Independent Florida Alligator, he said he wished to go to college at Harvard University and attend Yale Law School, so that he can become a prosecutor.[8] In a January 2013 interview with Canada.com, he confirmed that he still wanted to become a lawyer, noting that he was unsure about whether he wanted to be a prosecutor or specialize in family law.[47] That same month, he told the The Christian Post that he wanted to study law to "be able to tie in the [Little Red Wagon] Foundation and continue to help more people".[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Boy's walk raises money for homeless kids". United Press International. 2009-05-18. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  2. ^ a b c Bazar, Emily (2009-05-18). "Boy, 11, on trek to help homeless kids". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  3. ^ a b Grossman, Cathy Lynn (2009-12-16). "Boy is Beliefnet's Most Inspiring". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  4. ^ a b Stacy, Mitch (2009-05-09). "Florida boy, 11, walking to D.C. for homeless kids". WTOP-FM. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  5. ^ a b "Dana Perino Holds White House News Briefing Aboard Air Force One En Route to Florida". Congressional Quarterly. 2006-09-18. Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-28.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Meacham, Andrew (2007-11-04). "This kid is no mere follower". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  7. ^ Newberg, Julie; Karaczan, Natasha (2012-10-23). "Homeless children to benefit from ASU Changemaker Central backpack drive". ASU News (Arizona State University). Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  8. ^ a b c Frederick, Kori (2007-11-14). "Walking Wonder: Boy stops in Gainesville during 250-mile walk". The Independent Florida Alligator. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  9. ^ Chandler, Michael Alison (2010-02-04). "Disaster in Haiti inspires myriad projects in Washington area schools". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  10. ^ Morelli, Keith (2007-10-18). "Boy Plans 23-Day Trek For Homeless". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  11. ^ An, Vickie (2007-12-21). "A Year of Giving: Little Red Wagon Boy". Time for Kids. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  12. ^ "AOL and Philanthropy Project Launch Philanthropy Feature on AOL News". Business Wire. 2009-05-13. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  13. ^ Ruebens, Lindsay (2009-06-03). "At 11, he's a veteran at helping others". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  14. ^ a b c Simon, Mashaun D. (2009-07-10). "Boy, 11, walks 59 days and 668 miles for homeless". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  15. ^ Tang, Joyce C. (2009-07-10). "A Walk for Others". Time for Kids. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  16. ^ a b Parker, Beth (2009-07-09). "Fla. Boy Walks to D.C. for Homeless". Fox Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  17. ^ "Florida youth to complete cross-country walk today in Santa Monica". Los Angeles Daily News (MediaNews Group). 2010-09-14. Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  18. ^ "Zach Bonner starts 'March Across America'". WTVT. 2010-03-23. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  19. ^ a b 邱晨 (2010-09-15). "穿越美国东西两岸 少年苦行为流浪儿童募款" [Traveling Through the U.S. from the East Coast to the West Coast, the Youngster Embarks on a Strenuous Walk to Raise Funds for Homeless Children]. 美国侨报 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  20. ^ a b c Nicholson, Dave (2010-08-11). "Seffner boy's walk for homeless profiled on NBC". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  21. ^ Pauley, Rebecca (2012). "A "Little Red Wagon" of Hope - Zach Bonner's Mission to Help Homeless Children". Kids News Inc. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  22. ^ 劉芳 (2010-03-25). "十二歲慈善家 步行四千公里 募款助孤童". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  23. ^ "Zach Bonner wrapping up 'March Across America'". WTVT (Fox Television Stations). 2010-09-13. Archived from the original on 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  24. ^ Fuller-Magee, Lisa; Holland, Catherine (2012-10-31). "Teen who inspired 'Little Red Wagon' movie in town to help homeless kids". KTVK. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  25. ^ a b c Johnston, Caitlin (2013-04-04). "Zach Bonner's latest project: life in a box". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  26. ^ a b c "Little Red Wagon founder Zach Bonner launches new fundraiser". Tampa Bay Times. 2013-03-29. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  27. ^ Stein, Letitia (2006-09-21). "Valrico boy gets presidential award". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  28. ^ a b c Leone, Jared (2006-04-07). "Bush honors young philanthropist". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  29. ^ a b Van Dusen, Christine (2009-04-03). "Learning without limits: How the rise of online instruction is changing the nature of schooling". Oregon Virtual Schools. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  30. ^ "11-year-old hiking to Washington will stop in Charlotte Wednesday". Salisbury Post. 2009-06-02. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  31. ^ van der Meer, Natalie (February 2011). "Zachary Bonner: Walking Miles for Kids In Need". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  32. ^ Hargus, Relma (2008-02-12). ""Huggable Hero" helps hurricane evacuees in BR". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  33. ^ "2007 Huggable Heroes". Build-A-Bear Workshop. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  34. ^ "Florida's Ten-Year-Old Zach Bonner Named Winner of Volvo's National Hometown Youth Hero Award for helping Katrina victims". Katrina News. 2008-02-20. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  35. ^ a b Kinzie, Susan (2009-07-17). "Young philanthropists win big donations". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  36. ^ "Fla. boy, 11, walking to D.C. for homeless kids". Associated Press. 2009-05-08. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  37. ^ a b Routen, Barbara (2010-03-31). "Wagon to roll onto silver screen". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  38. ^ Arja, Tanya (2010-03-24). "Fla. Boy Bringing Awareness to Homeless Kids". WJBK. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  39. ^ Kilday, Greg (2010-03-04). "'Little Red Wagon' pic finds director". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  40. ^ "Zach Bonner completes cross-country march on Sept. 14". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. 2010-09-10. Archived from the original on 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  41. ^ a b McKinley Jr., James C. (2010-07-28). "Founding a Charity at 6, and Walking Across the Country for It at 12". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  42. ^ Wright, Wendy (2012-11-01). "Little Red Wagon Movie Premieres in Mesa". Arizona Moms Network. Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  43. ^ Rau, Lisa (2012-11-12). "Little Red Wagon". WTSP. Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  44. ^ a b Smith, Ben (2008-11-17). "11-year old walks from Florida to Atlanta for homeless". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  45. ^ DeKinder, Mathew (2012-11-09). "Review: 'Little Red Wagon' redeemed by subject matter". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  46. ^ "Zach Bonner: Little Red Wagon". WSTR. 2009-05-08. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  47. ^ a b c Andrews, Kenai (2013-01-08). "MMA Crossfire Conversations – Zach Bonner and the Little Red Wagon". Canada.com (Postmedia News). Archived from the original on 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  48. ^ Koonse, Emma (2013-01-08). "Zach Bonner, 'Little Red Wagon' Teen". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 

External links[edit]