Zachary Bonner started volunteering when he was 6 years old. He started by collecting food and water for hurricane victims and has continued over the past 2 years to involve himself in many different activities. Zachary started his own charity this year, calling it the Little Red Wagon Foundation . He was tagged the little red wagon boy after using his wagon to collect goods for hurricane victims in 2004.
In 2005 he collected $3870 for the kids of three families affected by the Radio Shack shooting in Tampa. As a result of this, two fathers were killed and one was left blind. A fund was set up for the kids and the $3870 was matched by Gold Bank. The money was placed in a special account for all the kids and will be used for their needs in the years ahead.
After hearing about the number of homeless kids, living on the streets with nothing to call there own, Zach started a backpack collection. He and his brother Matt and sister Kelley have raised money, used their own money and collected items in order to provide 155 backpacks to date. Each backpack contains a food pack, personal hygiene pack, sewing kit, 1st aid kid, and some sort of toy. He donates the packs all across the country to Stand Up For Kids offices that have trained counselors, who, in turn, distribute them to the kids. Zach is in the process now of putting together another hundred or so with a goal of 1000.
Zachary has also helped several local families by making gift bags for the kids or donating new toys. Using money out of his own pocket to pay for toys and contacting several local business asking for their help as well.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Zach wanted to do something to help so he went and collected money over several days to donate to the Red Cross. He collected just over $600. When he heard of all the kids without anything in the Red Cross shelters after Katrina he felt like he needed to do something more. He knew lots of people were giving food and money. He also knew that all the money was needed to fulfill basic needs. He felt bad the kids had lost all of their toys and thought they would be really bored with nothing to do. Zach went into action again. He rounded up his friends, Cub Scout troop, brother and sister, and they handed out flyers to several subdivisions. He also placed a collection box in Lexington Home’s main office. For about a month he collected new toys, games, arts and crafts, school supplies and other items just for the kids. Zach’s family rented a U-haul trailer and delivered it to the Katrina kids in Baton Rouge.
Zach loves helping at Southeastern Guide Dog school by volunteering his time. He also took up a collection of money and gave it to the school. Zach is now starting a new project for 2006 collecting games and such for Children’s hospitals. He has encouraged others to join in.
He spent more than 400 hours in 2005 volunteering his time, doing community service projects. He sees no big deal about what he does, he enjoys a pat on the back but never goes looking for one. He does what he does because he likes helping kids just like himself.