Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Little Red Wagon" with Frances O'Conner and Anna Gunn (2010)

When Hurricane Charley hit in Tampa, Florida back in 2004, 7 year old Zach Bonner, played by Chandler Canterbury, didn't wait for the usual school fund raiser to pitch in. Instead he took his little red wagon and set out to elicit support for the victims of the hurricane. That effort morphed into the Little Red Wagon Foundation which has provided relief for the estimated 1.3 million homeless children in America. He even received the Presidential Service Award in 2006 for his efforts.

His motivation was simple, “"These kids don't have a home, they don't have a safe place to sleep at night. They're out on the streets not because they want to be, but because it's out of their control.”

The story also delves into the life of this extraordinary young boy and what may have motivated him in the first place. Coming from a broken home has not been easy for him and he stands up by standing out.

As his organization expanded into the national arena, he found himself doing battle with the local politicians, and even other charities as they all try to take control of what he has started and put their own spin on things. His journey was like Homer’s Odyssey, with triumphs and near pit falls aplenty as he navigates the tricky world of politics and the media in his quest to help others.

By 2007, Bonner began his "My House to the White House" project, with the goal being to raise awareness about the problem of homeless children. That year he walked 280 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee, Florida. The following year he covered the 250 miles from Tallahassee to Atlanta, Georgia. And finally, he walked 668 miles from Georgia to Washington D.C.

When that march was done he didn't stop. From March 23 to September 14, 2010 he walked an incredible 2,448 miles from Tampa to Los Angeles. This film chronicles the story of one little boy, from a broken home, who set out to heal a nation, and the effect that his actions had upon his own family.

The movie was filmed in 2010, but not released until 2012. Still, I wonder how I missed his one. Outstanding performances by all make this a wonderfully uplifting film to watch. And the best part is that it’s really true.

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