12-Year-Old Boy to Walk 2,500 Miles to Raise Awareness of Homeless Kids

Suzanne Murray

It's Good News Sunday here on The Stir -- the place to come to start your week on a happy note.

 Last week, Zach Bonner, 12, started his "March Across America," a 2,478-mile coast-to-coast journey, to raise awareness of the plight of 1.3 million homeless kids in the United States. (You can see Zach being interviewed by CBS News in this YouTube video.)

Zach, who has received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, started his walk on March 23, near his hometown of Tampa, Florida, and will end his journey in Los Angeles in September. Zach plans to walk about five hours a day, seven days a week -- he hopes to cover 13 to 15 miles a day.

This isn't the first time Zach has done something to help others. In 2004, when he was just 6, he used his wagon to deliver water and supplies to neighbors in need after Hurricane Charley hit Tampa.
In 2006, he founded the Little Red Wagon Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps underprivileged kids, and encourages youth to make a difference in their neighborhoods.

The next year, Zach began a 1,225-mile-long “My House to the White House” walk on behalf of homeless youth in America by walking from Tampa to Tallahassee. The next fall he continued the journey by walking from Tallahassee to Atlanta and, in summer 2009, completed the effort by walking from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., where he met with U.S. senators and representatives.

As he walks across the country this spring and summer, Zach will take part in smaller projects and events with homeless shelters, churches and other groups.

In support of the “March Across America,” the Office Depot Foundation will donate 2,478 backpacks -- one for every mile that Zach walks -- to the Little Red Wagon Foundation to help homeless children succeed in school.

At 12, Zach has already done more to help other than most of us do in a lifetime. His mom must be proud. I know I would be.
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