Like most 5th-graders, Zach Bonner has a tight schedule leading up to the summer break. However his schedule does not include baseball or basketball games. Instead, he is trying to complete the third leg of his 1,200 mile charity walk from Tampa to Washington D.C. - to raise awareness of the plight of the 1.3 million homeless children in America.
Zach's charity walk, dubbed from 'My house to the White House' began in 2007. The then 9-year old did the first leg of his walk from Tampa to Florida's Capital, Tallahassee, a distance of about 300 miles. Last year, he continued his quest, walking from Tallahassee to Atlanta, a distance of 270 miles. Yesterday, the big-hearted kid began the third and final leg of his walk, continuing his journey from Atlanta to Washington D.C., a distance of 625 miles.
Zach, who expects to walk at least 11 miles a day, is scheduled to reach Washington D.C on July 11th. Along the way, he plans on collecting donations and letters from people, urging the President to do something for homeless kids. He is hoping to meet and present these letters personally to Mr. Obama, but hasn't heard from the White House yet.
The 11-year old will walk in the mornings and spend the nights resting in a donated RV, driven by his mother. His 21-year old sister will be cheering him along in a separate car, as will be a film crew from a nonprofit organization called Philanthropy Project. Zach already has some big sponsors lined up for this trip, including British rock legend, John Elton, who has pledged $25,000 USD if Zach completes the walk, which, he no doubt will!
Zach's passion to help people in distress began when he was just 7-years old, right after Hurricane Charlie hit the shores of Florida in 2004. Burning with a desire to help out, the little boy walked from house to house pulling behind him a red wagon, asking for water and food supplies for the victims. He ended up collecting 27 pick-up loads of essential supplies. Zach had so much fun helping that he was hooked.
For all his efforts, he has received many honors, including a 'Presidential Call to Service Award', from former President George W. Bush. To read more about this amazing boy and join his crusade, check out his website at www.littleredwagonfoundation.com.