Best of America

Zachary Bonner: Walking Miles for Kids In Need

Zachary Bonner: Walking Miles for Kids In Need© 2011 Win McNamee/Getty Images

Our hero: Zachary Bonner, 13

Where he lives: Valrico, Florida

Who he helps: Little Red Wagon Foundation

While many young people were enjoying the final weeks of summer vacation, Zachary Bonner was working his hardest. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Zach started walking from Valrico, Florida, his hometown, on Christmas, 2009, and stepped over the Los Angeles city line nine months later in September, racking up a total of 2,478 miles and raising close to $120,000 for kids in need. Along the way, Zach attended school online, thanks to his mother, Laurie Bonner, and brother and sister, who alternated walking and driving alongside him. Among Zach’s sponsors: AOL, McDonald’s, and the Office Depot Foundation.

Despite his age, Zach has a long history of helping others. When Hurricane Charley hit town in 2004, Zach, then six, pulled a wagon through his neighborhood collecting food for storm victims. Since then, he has raised some $400,000 for his tax-exempt Little Red Wagon Foundation, which gives money to projects aiding homeless and troubled children. In 2007, Zach began walking to support a children’s charity in Tampa, Florida, finishing his journey 23 days later, 280 miles away in Tallahassee. Then in the summer of 2009, he trekked about 670 miles from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., in just two months. “What really keeps me going [is] these kids,” Zach has said. “They don’t get to say, ‘I’m tired of being homeless.’ So why should I get to quit?”

Know a local hero? Visit American Towns to submit your nomination:

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.