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If I had to describe my life right now I would say that it’s pretty darn good. If you would’ve asked me two years ago, it would have been a different story. You see, I had a class bully in 3rd grade. He always teased me, pushed me, and tried to make me look bad in front of my friends. This made me feel sad inside and I couldn’t concentrate on my school work. My mom and dad were great and understood how I felt. Here are some bully survival skills:

  • It’s not your fault. Bullies pick on kids who don’t stick up for themselves. Stick up for yourself.
  • If you’re being bullied, waive your arms up and down at your side and yell “Why are you in my space? Leave me alone. Why do you do this? Leave me alone.” This will get everyone’s attention and take their power away. It’ll make them feel weird in front of their friends because they weren’t expecting it. You may have to do this two times before they stop.
  • Make sure you’re around other people at all times.
  • Tell your parents, teachers, yard duty supervisors and your principal. The more people that know, the more people will watch out for you.
  • If they tell you not to tell anyone, tell everyone!

Now if I see a kid being bullied I stick up for them and teach them what I’ve learned. It’s hard sticking up for yourself sometimes so you should have good friends that are willing to help.

I’m now at a new school with good friends and I’ve learned to stick up for myself and others. I’ve also realized that not only can I help those being bullied but I can help others in other ways.

To help the homeless I came up with the Dare to Care Kit. You see I had a 3rd grade project to invent something. This is how it all started…

One day my mom and I were heading to the grocery store and we saw a homeless person. My mom gave the guy a couple of dollars and we headed towards the store. As we were leaving, we saw the same homeless person buying beer and cigarettes. My mom told me we were only giving food to the homeless after that.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? The next week we saw another homeless person and my mom didn’t give him anything! She could tell I was upset and asked me what I would give him if we didn’t give him food or money. After I gave her some ideas she took me to the .99 cent store. We got the items and gave them to the homeless person. The kit had a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and a reference card so that they can call local shelters to get help.

It was such a good idea that I made it my invention for my 3rd grade project. Want to know what place I got in for the contest? I got 2nd place in all of San Diego County! I now have my own company and website and I can say I’ve helped over 2000 people. (Oh by the way…my bully didn’t like my idea and said it wouldn’t go anywhere. Yep, I showed him!)

Life lesson, when you serve others it makes them feel like someone cares. My parents showed they cared by sticking up for me when I had a bully. Now I serve others by sticking up for them. My parents believed in me and encourage my ideas, well most of them. My spirit feels good when I help people. It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.

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My name is Zack Gooding and I'm the founder of Guiltless Giving. I started with an idea on how to build a better mousetrap and found a way to help homeless people in a creative, innovative way. I watched my mom give a homeless man a couple of dollars, then we went to the grocery store and saw the same man buying liqueur and cigarettes with my mom's hard earned money. My mom said she would only give food to the homeless from then on out. But I would not let the experience go without finding a solution.

A few days later we were coming down another freeway off ramp and saw another homeless person standing at the end of the ramp. His clothes were torn and dirty. I asked my mom if she was going to give him money. She then asked me, "Zack, what would you do to help him if we didn't give money?" I started to rattle off some things and before you know it, came up with the Helping HandBag. We were both so excited about the possibilities that we went to our local .99 Cent Store that night to put our first Helping HandBags together.

Each Helping Handbag contains a pair of gloves for warmth, cheese crackers for a hungry tummy, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, deodorant, a comb, adhesive bandages, and a reference card to facilities in the local area which help the homeless.

Zack's website,, gives the history, support, and ability to purchase these Helping Handbags for distribution. Included on the site are beautiful pictures reminding us of those that are in need. There is even a picture of Zack, a smart, funny, and innovative young man, and a blog in his own words. With the help of friends and family, Zack' s idea has taken off. If you would like to help and for more information on the Helping Handbag, please visit Zack's web site. The answer to guiltless giving has been found through the resourcefulness of an eight year old boy.

For more information, please visit

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