Office Depot Foundation Helps 11-Year-Old Boy in the Fight Against Youth Homelessness

July 9, 2009

Today the Office Depot Foundation, led by President Mary Wong, donated 1,225 backpacks containing essential school supplies and $1,225 to a foundation created by an 11-year-old boy.

Young philanthropist Zach Bonner founded the Little Red Wagon Foundation — at the age of seven — in order to raise awareness about the plight of the 1.3 million homeless children in the United States and to spur action to solve the problem. Zach’s tactic was to walk … for three years and across 1,225 miles.

The Office Depot Foundation’s donations represent the 1,225 miles that Zach walked from his home in Tampa, Florida, to the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, where he arrived this morning.

“Zach is an inspiration to children, adults and, really, to our entire nation,” said Wong.

Hundreds of local D.C. children from the Sasha Bruce Youthwork joined Zach this morning for the last one mile of his walk, from Lafayette Park near the White House to the Capitol. Volunteers from the Office Depot Foundation, Office Depot, and BCLC provided backpacks in Lafayette Park to the kids who arrived to help Zach complete his journey. The Sasha Bruce Youthwork, an organization for at-risk children and their families in D.C., also received $1,225 and 1,225 backpacks from the Office Depot Foundation.

Next summer, Zach plans to walk from his home in Florida to California — and the new pair of sneakers that Wong gave him today will certainly be put to good use. Wong says the Office Depot Foundation’s support for the Little Red Wagon Foundation will continue as Zach keeps walking.

This week’s donations commemorate the Office Depot Foundation’s TWO MILLIONTH backpack donation for deserving children in the United States.

Read more on Zach and his foundation and more on the Office Depot Foundation.  In addition, Zach’s journey can be followed via the Philanthropy Project on AOL.

 View more photos from Zack’s day in D.C.