A Tucson support group is helping Connecticut residents heal after the December school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. They are doing so by ringing Ben’s Bells.
Jeannette Maré is the founder of the Ben’s Bells project. She created Ben’s Bells in honor of her son, Ben, who died in 2002. He was almost 3.
“Anytime anyone would do an act of kindness for me, something as simple as opening the door for me, these gestures were completely live-saving for me,” she said. And so she began the project to tell people how much their kindness meant. Now she’s taking that kindness to Newtown, Conn.
On Jan.8, Maré along with 100 volunteers, hung 1,000 colorful ceramic Ben’s Bells all across Newtown.
“We received story after story of what the bells meant to the community,” Maré said. “They’re just beautiful.”
After many requests to bring more bells and to keep the spirit of kindness in Newtown, Maré is going back on Sunday to form a new chapter in the grief-stricken town.
Maré said she’ll be going into school and community centers to train volunteers on how to make the bells. She hopes once momentum builds and enough funds are raised, there will be a studio in Newtown where people can express themselves as well as use art to cope with their grief.
The first bells were hung in Tucson a year after little Ben died — 400 colorful chimes went up around the city in celebration of his memory. Since then, the project has hung over 30,000 bells across the nation.
The bells can be seen in Tucson year-round. With each bell a message reads, “You have found a Ben’s bell. Take it home, hang it and remember to spread kindness.”
“The bells symbolize our togetherness and the idea that we are very much connected,” Maré said. “That we can do so much for each other if we can just be intentional about kindness.”
In addition to bell distributions, Ben’s Bells Project provides kindness education programming for more than 100 schools, organizations and businesses.
Visit www.bensbells.org or call (520) 628-2829 to donate and/or volunteer.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.