By Morgan Cook (’22)
Those who have dealt with seemingly perpetual harassment from peers understand what this can do to a person – especially a young child. There are a number of ways people deal with the struggles presented to them due to bullying, and rarely do they turn to philanthropy in response to the treatment they receive. Rarely, but not never.
Cavanaugh Bell is living proof that not only is it possible to overcome anything, but also to turn a completely negative situation into a positive, life-changing one. This 7-year-old boy from Gaithersburg, Maryland longed to “spread love and positivity” after being continuously bullied at school. By using a GoFundMe page and communicating awareness, Bell is helping hundreds of people fight off a different type of bully: COVID-19.
Starting off by distributing toiletries and food bags to elderly neighbors, support began to skyrocket. In a short matter of time, contributions were flooding in, and Bell and his mother began using a donated warehouse as a food pantry. However, Bell wanted to extend the reach of generosity past just the limits of his own community. Remembering a trip to Mount Rushmore he had taken years back, he recalled the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota. Here, he learned that those living on the reservation often lacked basic necessities to survive comfortably.
When he explained this on his GoFundMe page, Bell received an influx of in-person donations, including a 53 foot truck to deliver all the contributions they received. Due to all they received, they were able to fill the vehicle with supplies twice. With a shipment in July and one in September, Bell helps make sure those on the reservation receive the materials they need during the pandemic as well as in the worsening weather — and he is nowhere near done in his journey.
Recently, Bell has created the nonprofit “Cool & Dope” in an effort to spread love and positive energy through kindness and helping to fight bullying.
In the face of injustice and cruelty, Bell looked for ways to help others struggling through difficult times, and he found them. His efforts and successes prove to us all that no one is too young to make a positive impact on the world.