Hey everyone! We are so excited to spotlight young philanthropist and all around rock star, Zack Gosselin as our very first Featured Can Do Club member.
This young man has a passion for helping others and started an organization called Dream BigVille. Through that organization, Zack has raised over $10,000 for charity all before his 11th birthday. He told us that he wants to start a giant ripple effect of kindness caused from bringing value and peace to others in the word. Woah, right? What were you doing when you were 11?
Today, Zack tells us more about his organization Dream BigVille, why he loves giving back so much, and where he sees this going in the future.
1. Tell us about Dream BigVille, your philanthropy organization, and what made you want to start it at such a young age?
What got me going with this movement initially was the thought of seeing the joy brought to people's faces from the kind things I/we was doing for others. Age really was never a factor in all of this… If I were 50 years old, I would still want to donate money and time to make another person’s life better and their future appear to be less bleak.
2. What has been your favorite moment so far since you started Dream BigVille?
My 5th annual Skate-A-Thon event. Why this? Because there were close to 350 people in attendance, with nearly 40 different countries represented.
There were families from India, Cambodia, many African nations, Japan, China, France, Spain, North America, all kind of Latin countries, all with various religious preferences all making family memories that will absolutely last a lifetime.
3. Tell us about your motto Service before Self. What started that and how do you live it out?
Well, that we (as in my father and I) found this motto because he is a former Rotarian Of the Year in Bedford, MA, and the Rotary motto is to put “Service Above Self” in all that you do in life. It’s a great motto to live by, and very true!
However, although we agree with Rotary’s catch-phrase, we wanted to put our ‘slant’ on it because nothing in life is outside, above, or below us - at least according to my dad and me anyway! A way that I live service before self daily is by raising the level of hope for people and causes facing ‘trying’ times.
4. What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned so far doing philanthropy?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that even if what you are striving to accomplish does not go the way you hoped or wanted, doing thoughtful things differently for others and putting relationships first in life is what actually counts.
5. What is your plan moving forward with your philanthropic mission? Where do you see it going?
What the DreamBigVille team is trying to do is keep these charitable actions going for as long as we can. I see this mission and movement raising $500,000 plus before I’m done here. I also want to take our initiatives global once I get older.
I also would like to speak on stage for large crowds - like in the thousands. This is one of the reasons I published my first book when I was just 10 years old. 13 Ways To Put Service Before Self is more or less a recipe for how to give for those who want to get started doing community service but don’t know where to start.
6. If you could tell everyone one thing about giving back, what would it be?
That it costs very little to be a mentor and a person who makes your community a better place to live and raise children. Also, I enjoy being an elite athlete (or so people tell me I am anyway) and star student in the classroom, but doing thoughtful things differently and putting a smile on another person’s face - especially in times of doubt - doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Yet, being a proactive community activist and do-gooder provides the biggest payoff compared to any other things I do each year in my life. I love it :)
Zack, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions and for sharing with us why you do what you do! Selfless giving is exactly what this time of year is all about.
We hope you will gain inspiration from Zack's story of giving back and pay it forward so that his mission of creating a ripple effect of kindness will come true.
Keep going, Zack! We need more kids like you in the world.