GERMANTOWN, Md. — Cavanaugh Bell, 7, has always been a "social justice minded kid," according to his mom Llacey Simmons.
"I know that I like giving back and I know that's my passion," he said.
He's started a nonprofit to end bullying, wants to be a police officer when he grows up, has shipped clean water to elderly residents in Flint, Michigan, and has opted for donations to non-profits instead of Christmas and birthday gifts since he was 4 years old.
So when Cavanaugh first learned about the coronavirus at school, he knew he couldn't sit back without helping his community.
His idea for a community service project first started when he visited his grandmother at her senior living community in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
"My grandma's my best friend," Cavanaugh said.
He was worried about her because she has an underlying health condition that increases the risk of coronavirus complications and because she frequently takes the bus and walks. He knew he could always bring her things instead, but that got Cavanaugh thinking about the other residents who might not have people to help them.
So he used the money he saved up from his birthday and Christmas, about $600, and went to the store with his mom to buy cleaning products and snacks for the residents.
With masks and gloves, he went door to door and surprised his grandmother's neighbors at the Hillside Senior Apartments with the care packs.
"I liked seeing their reactions because it makes me feel beautiful inside. They felt like they were safe and I had their back," he said.
After initially distributing 65 care packs, Cavanaugh posted about his idea online through his anti-bullying organization Cool & Dope and raised $5,000 more from donors. He used that money to buy and hand out 68 additional care packs.
Cavanaugh's mom said they're trying to connect with a mass distributor to purchase more items in bulk.
If you want to help people impacted by the coronavirus, Cavanaugh encourages you to bring care packs to seniors in your own community or donate to his project at his website here. You can also follow Cool & Dope on Facebook here.