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15-year-old raises awareness about homeless epidemic in Tucson

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

15-year-old raises awareness about homeless epidemic in Tucson

CREATED Nov 1, 2012

Reporter: Aaron Brackett

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Now only 15 years old, Zach Bonner walked more than four-thousand miles to raise money for homeless children. Having started collecting supplies for homeless children for the last 8 years, a movie has been made about his life, and Tucson residents can be the first to see it. Harkins Spectrum theater is one of a few movie houses nationwide showing the movie.

9OYS talked with Bonner and asked what made him want to help at such a young age.

"It started back in 2004 with Hurricane Charlie, replied Bonner. "It was after that project that I learned about youth homelessness and really decided that it was really something that I needed to get involved in and help end that crisis.

Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild is recogniing Bonner's efforts to help the homeless.

A statement from the mayor read:" [I] Johnathan Rothschild, Mayor of the city of Tucson, do hereby proclaim November 3rd, 2012 to be Little Red Wagon Movie Day in this community, and encourage all citizens to recognize that services and housing are needed by those less fortunate in our community."

Long-time homeless advocate Brian Flagg helps run the city's largest soup kitchen, Casa Maria. He told 9OYS bringing the homeless problem to light is a good start.

"If the mayor wants to address this, I would like to see something concrete, but even if the mayor talks about poverty in Tucson that's good, I mean it's a start," said Flagg.

Last year, Tucson had a powerty rate of almost 5% above the national average, many of those children.

Since the creation of the Little Red Wagon Foundation over 6,000 backpacks, 56 pallots of school supplies, and help to over 4,000 families has been provided.

If you would like to help, head to their website at: http://www.littleredwagonfoundation.com/