BALTIMORE (WMAR) — In the beginning of the pandemic, eight-year-old Cavanaugh Bell’s grandmother was still going to the grocery store. He didn't want her to get sick so he used his life savings from Christmases and birthdays, $600 dollars, to make care packs for his grandmother and other seniors.
He started a GoFundMe and it took off. He's raised over $37,000, starting the Love is Greater than COVID-19 Community Food Pantry he started in Montgomery county.
His goal was to help 1,000 people. Now he's has helped over 10,000 people, not just in Maryland but across the country.
"It’s pretty awesome to be able to help that many people. I never knew i was gonna be able to help that many people," said Bell.
He's from Gaithersburg, but right now, he’s visiting family friends in Florida and the work is not stopping. He’s on day two of his 7 days of love campaign.
"I just gave out 20 care packs to a homeless shelter for youth," said Bell.
Because of his hard work and selflessness, Governor Larry Hogan took notice.
"From the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been talking about what it’s like to be 'Maryland Strong' and I can’t think of anybody that’s a better example," said Hogan.
Last week over Zoom he presented Bell with a little surprise.
"We have these things that every once in a while we do for very special people, and we're pleased to confer upon you this Governor's Citation which is a very cool thing," said Hogan.
"He even said that they usually don’t give that out often to people so I was very thankful," said Bell.
Bell’s work didn’t start with the pandemic. After getting bullied, he started his nonprofit Cool and Dope when he was just five years old. His mission" to make positivity and kindness a thing, encouraging people to speak up even if it means standing out.
"Stay positive and whatever you believe you can achieve. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. And anyone can have an impact no matter their age," said Bell.
He hasn’t gotten the citation yet, he said the governor wants to give it to him in person.