Derek McKee, Heritage High School senior and magician, will be spending the week in a box.
McKee is on the board of the Little Red Wagon Foundation, which works to help homeless kids. His concept is to represent them by living in a Plexiglas box on the 16th Street Mall for a week, performing magic much of the time. His hope is that people visit and fill the box with canned food, which he’ll donate to local food banks.
Founded in 2005 by Zach Bonner, the Little Red Wagon Foundation helps thousands of kids a year by distributing “Zachpacks,” which contain basics like hygiene products and food along with creature comforts like toys and coloring books.
“When I first met Zach almost two years ago, I became fixated with finding some way to make a difference like he did,” said McKee. “After long sessions of thinking and talking with friends, family and mentors, I came up with this project I like to call ‘24/7.’ It’s a way to raise awareness about Denver’s homeless youth and to have the most unique canned-food drive in the state.”
More than 1,500 youth and teens in Denver alone spend their nights on the streets.
“This subgenre of kids are the most likely to be bullied, beaten up, put into sex slavery and abused, and are the mostly likely to die at a young age,” notes McKee.