Caring Kid Who Helps the Homeless
"Kids are never too young to make a difference," says 12-year-old Zach Bonner, a sixth-grader in Tampa, Fla. "No matter how old or how young, how rich or how poor, you can always make a difference. Whether you donate a dollar or a hundred dollars, it all adds up."
Zach began at 6, hauling his Radio Flyer through his hometown, collecting bottled water for hurricane victims. But his greatest concern, even at that age, was the plight of homeless children. At 7 he was filling backpacks with food, hygiene products, and simple toys for kids living on the street, some of whom had never had a new toy. “There are 1.3 million homeless kids in America,” says Zach. “And 13 die each day on the street.”
One of his projects, “24 Hours,” got kids like him to spend a day and night living on the street in cardboard boxes to experience what homeless kids go through. Last year he made a 1200-mile "My House to the White House" walk to raise money to house homeless youth, and he is now embarked on a coast-to-coast walk to benefit a boys' and girls' club in Los Angeles.
Zach is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for living his conviction that no one is ever too young to change the world.
When Zach grows up, he'd like to be an attorney who also spends time giving back to the community. "I hope that service will always be a part of my life," he said. "When we do the projects, we get to interact with the kids. You get to see the joy on their faces. It makes everything worth it, all the hard work."