Cavanaugh Bell, a first-grader from Gaithersburg, Maryland, used $600 of his own money—saved up from two birthdays and three Christmases—to provide 65 “COVID-19 Carepacks” and 31 hot meals to senior citizens and small businesses in his community.
The care packages were delivered by Bell personally, along with his mother, and contained fruit and canned and dry goods, plus cleaning supplies like bleach.
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In a conversation with Fox 5 DC, Bell explains how he got the idea: “My grandma is my best friend, and she walks to the grocery store every day. So I thought she shouldn’t be walking to grocery store because it’s coronavirus season.”
He also helped feed 90 students in need last Thursday.
Bell aims to use acts of love to help others overcome fear. As a preschooler, Bell experienced the pain and trauma of bullying himself, and now, giving back helps him to feel special and good.
The 7-year-old became a philanthropist and anti-bullying activist at age 5 when he started the non-profit “Cool and Dope.” Its mission is to “eradicate all bullying and youth suicide through political and social action by his 18th birthday on Nov. 20, 2030.”
Bell’s nonprofit is “all about spreading positivity and raising awareness to show the world that anyone can have an impact no matter their age.” He gave a TEDx Youth Talk that inspired his hometown of Gaithersburg to name February 21 Bullying Awareness Day, in memory of Gabriel Taye, an eight-year-old from Ohio who committed suicide in response to bullying in 2017. Bell’s county has also designated October Bullying Prevention Month, and he hopes to use his platform to bring his cause to Washington D.C. in 2020.
Bell empowers his TEDx audience, reminding them, “Motivation is all around us.”
“A for is Action,” he says, “Your motivation is useless unless you get up and do something about it.”
Bell hopes that people everywhere will help out by creating their own care packages to distribute to seniors and more vulnerable members of their communities throughout this difficult time.