And a small child shall lead them... Zach Bonner (Chandler Canterbury), a carrot-topped boy of eight, living in Tampa with his realtor mom Laurie (Anna Gunn) and 16-year-old sister Kelley (Daveigh Chase), is a normal kid. Then in 2004, in the wake of Hurricane Charley, Zach feels moved to use his beat-up toy wagon to collect water, food and clothing for families left homeless by the storm. At first, it's relatively fun and easy; his efforts even land him on the local evening news. Emboldened, Zach overcomes bureaucratic hurdles to found his own charity, Little Red Wagon Foundation, so he can produce and distribute "Zach Packs," backpacks filled with life's bare essentials, plus a toy.
Zach's life intersects with that of newly widowed Margaret Craig (Frances O'Connor) and her young son Jim (Dylan Matzke), whose hardships spiral out of control and land them in a series of homeless shelters. Suddenly, Zach strikes upon the idea of walking from Tampa to the state capital, Tallahassee, to bring attention to the plight of homeless youth. His mother is against it; and his sister feels increasingly resentful of Zach and the attention he's getting.
Zach is invited to speak to the Lazydays Partners Foundation, and to his surprise, they vote to donate $1,000 and an RV to house him and his family during the walk. Zach is elated, but Laurie is ambivalent and Kelley frustrated - she realizes that, instead of taking a summer cooking class with her mom, she'll be forced to drive the family chase vehicle 250 miles across central Florida.
Zach's walk begins amid great fanfare: a rousing speech by a state senator, a throng of people who walk the first mile with Zach and his family. But it soon settles into a long slog in the dead of summer. Though they meet interesting and supportive people along the way, the heat, bugs, blisters, sore muscles and exhaustion begin to overwhelm even the determined Zach.
Meanwhile, Margaret and Jim Craig, having finally wound up in a decent shelter, each find hope. Jim is given a "Zach Pack," and his spirits lift when he pulls out a yo-yo, a small gift that, for Jim, means that "someone out there cares!" Soon afterward, Jim is on a computer in the public library reading about Zach Bonner's walk to Tallahassee, when his mother comes in and announces that she's finally landed a job. They will now be able to afford an apartment, albeit in a run-down part of Tallahassee. It's a small step toward a normal life again.
Only miles outside Tallahassee, Zach witnesses his own family falling apart. He is about to complete the final leg of their long journey, but was it worth it?
The Little Red Wagon is playing at Megaplex 20 at The District. 11400 South Bangerter Highway in South Jordan.