Ben’s Bells is a Tucson, Arizona-originated program that aims to promote kindness throughout the local community and world through the creation and distribution of handmade bells. Its mission is to “inspire, educate, and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness, and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships, and our communities”. Ben’s Bells was founded in 2003 by Jeannette Maré after the death of her three-year-old son and has grown from a family and community coping mechanism to a countrywide expression of love and support.
Jeannette Maré began the starting works of Ben’s Bells as a way to cope with the death of her three-year-old son Ben from croup on March 29, 2002. She found comfort in the kind acts of strangers and in spending time with friends and family in her backyard studio shaping clay into what are now recognizable bells seen all over Tucson. On the one-year anniversary of her son’s death, Maré and friends distributed hundreds of bells around the Tucson community for people to find with notes saying to take one and pass on the kindness.
There are now three studios where individuals can help create the ceramic wind chimes that are randomly distributed throughout the community for people to take and continue to spread the kindness to others. These studios are located in Tucson’s main gate, downtown Tucson, and Bethel, Connecticut.
Ben’s Bells has grown from just the creation and spreading of the bells to incorporating their mission of compassion and acceptance in schools in hopes of reducing bullying and school violence. There are now two school programs, Kind Kid and Kind Campus, which are being implemented in over 200 schools across the nation that teach kids the importance of kind acts through their “be kind” message that is seen throughout the city. The schools are presented with monthly educational materials and are then able to choose how they wish to implement these strategies into their curriculum. Those who have used these programs in their schools say they have seen noticeable differences in the way the children interact with one another and how they continue to perform random acts of kindness.
The mission of Ben’s Bells is to teach individuals and communities about the positive impacts of intentional kindness and to inspire people to practice kindness as a way of life.
Thank you Ben’s Bells for these great videos that we can share and spread kindness. Go to Ben’s Bells to make a donation to this wonderful project.