Image via Ben's Bells Phoenix You never know when a Ben Bell may stumble into your life – perhaps during an afternoon solitary walk through the desert or hanging from a supermarket parking lot tree – and the timing is impeccable, appearing randomly in a moment when you need a little boost to that hum drum mood that has you down and out. The mission of the Ben's Bells Project 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 themselves, their relationships and their communities.
Image via Ben's Bells Phoenix
Founder Jeannette Maré and family started Ben’s Bells after the loss of their son, Ben. As a way to deal with the grief, the family came up with a design for Ben’s Bells and started making them in their back yard studio with friends. The therapeutic effect of working with clay was comforting and so was the power of being surrounded by people talking and working toward a common goal. It was then that Jeannette decided to make hundreds of the Bells and distribute them randomly in the Tucson community to spread the kindness that the Maré family depended on to get through each day. On the first anniversary of Ben’s death, hundreds of Ben’s Bells were distributed throughout Tucson, hung randomly in trees, on bike paths, and in parks with a written message to simply take one home and pass on the kindness. Their message of kindness has gone viral, the old fashioned way, from one person’s random gifting of a bell to another person’s finding and sharing their own story about grief and healing and hope. Now the kindness has made it's way to their very own studio at the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts district in downtown Phoenix. To learn more about how Ben’s Bells are made and how the program works, be sure to visit their website. To learn more about happenings at the Phoenix location, check out their Facebook page.
Written by Somlynn Rorie