Being a kid is amazing. The freedom, the lack of responsibilities, the ability to do basically anything in public without repercussions that will haunt you for the rest of your life – it’s a time we aren’t fully able to appreciate until it’s gone. But for some, being a kid means facing struggles you aren’t equipped to handle. All it takes is one bully to turn the best time of your life into the worst. When you’re a kid being bullied, you often have to rely on others to stand up for you – unless, that is, you’re 7-year-old Cavanaugh Bell.
To say that Cavanaugh Bell was bullied feels like an understatement. The torment Cavanaugh experienced left him feeling lost, and at just 7-years-old, this brave young boy decided to do something about it.
“After I was bullied and I felt a darkness inside of me, I knew I didn’t want other kids to feel the same way I felt,” Cavanaugh explained on his GoFundMe page. “And, the more I gave back to my community, the more I wanted to keep doing it.”
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L ♥️ V E One of my many missions is to spread as much love and positivity as possible. I have heard about so many people being bullied because of their skin tone, abilities, and so much more. This STOPS with us! No justice, no peace! . . #gaithersburgmd #nojusticenopeace #loveislove #positivity #RingTheBell #bullyingawareness #youthactivist
After realizing his grandma was in the at-risk age group for COVID, Cavanaugh was determined to help her. But the 7-year-old knew his grandma wasn’t the only one facing a challenging situation – other people’s loved ones were at risk too, and Cavanaugh knew he had to help not just his loved ones, but everyone’s.
With his mom’s help, Cavanaugh poured everything he had into starting his own nonprofit, Cool & Dope. Rather than let the bullying keep him down, Cavanaugh used the feeling as motivation. No kid, no person, should feel the darkness he felt.
The Cool & Dope website states, “My name is Cavanaugh and I’m 7 years old. I used my own $600 savings to make care packs for the elderly in my area. I’ve been SO blessed to get help from people, like you, to create a FULL community pantry to help 5,000 people in need in Maryland.”
Cavanaugh is giving back, filling care packages with food and toiletries and distributing them throughout his community – he even opened a food pantry in a local warehouse. Just as importantly though, he’s empowering other kids to make a difference as well. In a video shared on Cool & Dope’s Twitter page, the little mover and shaker explained that he was tired of being told he was too little to help. According to Cavanaugh, nobody is too little to make a difference.
People always ask me why I started Cool & Dope. And the answer is simple, I wanted to do my part to make the 🌎 a better place! pic.twitter.com/co6PaohWb6
— Cool & Dope (@cooldopeliving) February 19, 2019
The most recent update on Cavanaugh’s GoFundMe page explains that his original goal was to help 1,000 people. A lofty goal, when a 7-year-old is in charge of the operation. But Cavanaugh has proven that he is no ordinary 7-year-old. With fierce tenacity, Cavanaugh has helped over 8,100 people to date. Filling trailer after trailer with supplies to distribute, opening a food pantry, and speaking out against bullying, Cavanaugh proved once and for all that no one is too small to be a hero.
🙌🏾 WE DID IT AGAIN 🙌🏾
You guys are SO amazing!!!!! Last Tuesday we filled ANOTHER 53 FOOT TRAILER to take to the Pine Ridge Reservation and it was FULL of essential winter supplies, food, and cleaning supplies for them.
A BIG thank you to each and every one of you who donated! pic.twitter.com/xsBhaZ5tMp
— Cool & Dope (@cooldopeliving) September 26, 2020