That’s it. A message so simple. So pure. Yet so powerful.
And, according to Jeannette Mare of Ben’s Bells Project, so life-saving.
Nine years ago today, her family suffered a loss greater than any heart can possibly bear alone. Jeannette says that after the sudden death of her younger son, small acts of kindness, often by strangers, served to give her hope. Over the years, that hope has blossomed into something breathtakingly beautiful. Ben’s Bells, while initially distributed in this sweet boy’s memory, are more living, breathing, growing movement than memorial.
They are gorgeous wind chimes crafted by at least ten different sets of hands, and then hung anonymously, to be found unexpectedly. They undoubtedly bring peace, joy, and gentle refocusing to their finder. Just read some of the moving stories here.
A weekly Ben’s Bell is also awarded to a worthy nominee who is impacting their community with kindness. Similar smaller versions of the wind chimes are available for purchase to be gifted to and from individuals.
This organization is drawing our Tucson community together in countless wonderful ways. There is the Kind Kids school outreach program that focuses on creating a culture of kindness in young people. There is the Kindness Corridor community art project (you have to see the pictures of the gorgeous mosaics). And even the BENevolent Brigade: a self-proclaimed “flash mob with purpose”.
What originally began as one family’s way of coping, has become a community message garnering national media attention. After Tucson’s January 8th, 2011 shootings, the project of quiet kindness was featured on MSNBC’s nightly news.
In case you can’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the studio and exploring their (really great!) website. I hope you will too. If you have a few minutes, I especially recommend the “What’s the Deal?” video in the right side bar of the homepage.
There are so many ways to get involved and get inspired to…
Seems so easy, but somehow can be so easy to forget…
*Photos are from the project’s own website.