Tampa Bay Times, 10/02/2020
An 11-year-old from Tampa was rewarded for his good deeds on Thursday’s episode of The Drew Barrymore Show. Barrymore made a whopping $5,000 donation toward his effort to stock libraries and animal shelters with recycled goods.
“He is proof you can make a difference at any age,” Barrymore said in her introduction to Zach Hartman during a segment on her daytime talk show.
His mom, Kim Parrish, said he was only 7 when “he reprimanded me” for not recycling enough and started his project.
After taking out the trash one night, Zach said he noticed a lot of the trash that should have been recycled. He has since collected and donated more than 65,000 books to schools and libraries across the nation. He also has upcycled thousands of stuffed animals that have been sent to animal shelters.
He founded “Zach’s Planet,” a community service project aimed at reducing waste. His most impactful delivery, he says on his fundraising page, was to Robert E. Lee Elementary, a Title 1 school in Tampa since renamed Tampa Heights Elementary School, that had been destroyed by fire. Zach helped collect, sort and deliver over 1,000 books for classrooms in their new location.
He has a Go Fund Me page for his project and Barrymore added $5,000 to the cause on Thursday’s show.
“You are a teacher and inspiring," Barrymore said. "Can we have a family meeting? Because I want my daughters to hear your story.”
Zach’s Planet: The Go Fund Me page set up for Zach Hartman’s project pays for postage and Zach’s Packs of free books given to schools across the country. gofundme.com/f/zach039s-planet.