Today we’d like to introduce you to Zack Gosselin.
Zack, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was 6 years old, my dad and I had aspirations to help those facing ‘trying’ times.
So, without any hesitation, we began bringing people together to celebrate memory-making, fun with friends, and how being a mission-driven marketer and social entrepreneur is just as cool for a kid as being an elite athlete or a star student in the classroom.
Others have said that I have spent half of my childhood doing great things for others, which is the greatest contribution I could ever do for another. However, for me, I get excited just knowing that I have built an enterprise that has given me the name “Big Hack Zack: The Home Run Hitter For Doing Thoughtful Things Differently For Others” in the Boston area, and beyond.
Here is a list of the contributions I have made and organizations I have supported through the years:
In 2013, I made an anonymous donation to the survivors of the Sandy Hook School shootings in Newtown, CT. (It’s hard to believe that the students who lost their lives that day are the same age as me… Where has the time gone?!) :(.
In 2014, I raised and donated $400 to the Fallen Firefighter Fund (the Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy Memorial Fund) after the “Back Bay Blaze” took the lives of two of Boston’s best. (Firefighters are some of the most caring, thoughtful, and compassionate people I have ever worked with! #WatertownStrong)
In 2015, our team headed to Worcester, MA to donate $1,300 in support of Dress for Success, an organization that serves as a support system for women who want to get back on their feet in the working world, and in life. (Helping these young moms “dream big” again in life has empowered me in so many ways!)
In 2016, we raised and donated $2,642 in support of Catie’s Closet of Dracut, MA. According to their website, Catie’s Closet “improves school attendance and removes social stigma by providing an in-school resource of clothing and basic necessities to students living below the poverty line.” (I never realized how many children skip school because of a lack of clothes and lack of confidence about their lives. There are literally tens of thousands of kids like this in Boston!)
In 2017, between the annual Skate-A-Thon event that our team hosts and corporate sponsor support, we raised more than $5,500 for Aaron’s Presents.
Aaron’s Presents is an organization that has helped hundreds of elementary and middle school-aged children put “service before self” by doing various community service projects in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts since 2013. (I have been told by Leah Okimoto and her team that I am the “poster child” for what Aaron’s Presents is all about!)
In 2018, I partnered with the Pawtucket Red Sox and Operation Stand-Down of Rhode Island to support homeless veterans. Our team and I have raised over $5,000 to date, and we are just getting started on giving America’s freedom fighters the ability to dream big again.
Receiving a check on Armed Forces Day at McCoy Stadium with hundreds of veterans and supporters present was REALLY cool :).
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Overall, I am happy to say that it has been a rather smooth ride. The first few years were the most challenging as we were still in the process of establishing our base of donors and sponsors. However, because I have consistently shown how serious I am about making a difference in the community, our track record of success attracts new businesses and organizations. I am so thankful for everything our wonderful, and growing donor-base does to keep things moving like clock-work year after year.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our foundation is DreamBigVille.org and we help people and organizations facing “trying” times make memories that will last a lifetime. We aim to raise the level of hope they have in their lives—even if it’s just for a few hours. For the first five years, our philanthropic activities have been largely supported from hosting our Annual Skate-A-Thon event.
At this event, members associated with their respective causes and organizations, businesses in the community, and sometimes even Super Bowl winning athletes and media personalities get involved.
However, what makes me most proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far is seeing the look on people’s faces during a photo opportunity or sharing smiles with loved ones because we know we are doing something great.
How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
I have learned that most people look at success from an outside-in vantage point.
In other words, I could say that being on the cover of the Watertown Tab when I was 7 years old meant the world to me—and it did at the time. It was also a blast to be published in the Worcester Telegram on Citizenship Day at school when I was just 8 years old. That recognition rewarded me with a personal tour of the Massachusetts State House with Marc Lombardo, State Representative. I was also honored as a “Young Hero” by the Children’s Smile Coalition in Worcester, MA. These were all once-in-a-lifetime events…
However, speaking to crowds in excess of 250 people at the Hanover Theater and at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA was when I first truly saw the difference I was making to help the world become a better place for the future leaders of America, and worldwide. I also enjoyed speaking at the Rotary Club of Billerica, MA – what a great group of do-gooders they have there!
As for my personal life, I enjoy playing lots of baseball and basketball, being outside with my friends and younger brother, keeping my consecutive streak for making the honor roll at school alive next year, and look forward to allowing a special lady into my life at some point in the 7th grade 😉
In summary, I believe success should be measured by the amount of enjoyment you have at any moment and by the results you have achieved. If you are having fun and achieving goals, then you are successful in my book :).
- Website: dreambigville.org
- Phone: 7817802110
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zacktg06/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamBigVille
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuWmJV24ZhZ1jDImtayWL0Q
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