As a member of the FSU football team, Dillan was devastated to hear the news of beloved long-time FSU football coach Bobby Bowden’s passing. However, Bowden’s legacy and the fact that he lived his life with three guiding principles – faith, family, and football – is inspirational to Dillan because he was raised with the same virtues. Through his charitable efforts and hard work on the football field, Dillan hopes that he will honor the legend of Coach Bobby Bowden.
As Notre Dame Offensive Lineman, Dillan Gibbons made the most difficult decision of his life to transfer from Notre Dame to Florida State University to play his remaining two years of college football while obtaining his MBA degree, he couldn’t help but think of how his decision would impact his friend Timothy Donovan. Dillan and Timothy became fast friends when they met after Dillan’s first football game as a Notre Dame player in the fall of 2017. As Dillan progressed through the years as a member of the Fighting Irish football team, he faced a great deal of adversity that held him back from achieving his dreams.
Dillan Gibbons is a 22-year-old college football player who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, FL. As he grew up as the youngest of four children in his family (including his twin sister, Delanie,) he learned to love everything about the Florida lifestyle he was fortunate enough to be born into. Almost every family vacation his parents took them on revolved around the beach, the boat, and the water. Fishing became his passion and he remembers fondly sitting in a classroom thinking about fishing instead of the classwork he was supposed to be focused on – just biting at the bit to get home and cast a line.
Inspired by Dillan’s enormously successful initial GoFundMe campaign to bring Timothy to Tally, CMO of GoFundMe, Musa Tariq, reached out to Dillan to offer VIP campaign support resources and advice to help his initiative. As a result, the TakeTimothytoTally campaign has raised over $50,000. “As a company, we don’t really sponsor athletes and never thought we would. But then you came along and reminded us there’s kindness everywhere.”
Take Timothy to Tally Raised Over $30,000 in 23 Hours
TakeTimothytoTally went viral as he was the first NCAA college athlete in any sport to use his NIL for good. In 23 hours, he met his initial goal of raising $30,000.00 for Timothy. Then, on the advice of executives from GoFundMe, Dillan increased his goal to $75,000.00 to continue raising funds to cover Timothy’s medical expenses and elevate his quality of life. The success of this campaign exceeded Dillan’s wildest dreams and taught him some integral life lessons about the value of giving back. This experience led Dillan to establish Big Man Big Heart, Inc. to expand his charitable endeavors to touch as many lives as possible.
“THE INDIVIDUAL HAS ALWAYS HAD TO STRUGGLE TO KEEP FROM BEING OVERWHELMED BY THE TRIBE. TO BE YOUR OWN MAN IS HARD BUSINESS. IF YOU TRY IT, YOU WILL BE LONELY OFTEN, AND SOMETIMES FRIGHTENED. BUT NO PRICE IS TOO HIGH TO PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF OWNING YOURSELF.”
As CEO and founder of Big Man Big Heart, Inc., Dillan would like to recruit other NCAA athletes across the country to be Collegiate Ambassadors for his charitable organization. He plans to do this by sponsoring their initiatives and guiding them through planning and implementing their campaigns in their college and hometown communities, or even nationwide.
Fundraising for each of these initiatives will be through the GoFundMe platform. It will be promoted by the individual athlete spearheading the campaign and by all Big Man Big Heart Collegiate Ambassadors nationwide through social media.
BIG MAN BIG HEART IS A 501(C)(3) NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION – EIN 87-2111100
Dillan plans to utilize the database of donors collected through his successful campaign for Timothy and to lean on other contacts he has developed through his years at Notre Dame and now at FSU to raise the start-up funds necessary to have his vision take flight.