In 2002, Ben’s Bells Project’s founder, Jeannette Maré, life changed forever when her son, Ben, died suddenly just before his third birthday. In the months following his death, she and her friends and family began making ceramic wind chimes- the first Ben’s Bells- in her backyard studio. The therapeutic effect of working with clay, and the power of being surrounded by people talking and working toward a common goal, helped Jeannette and her family begin to heal.
Jeannette and her friends decided to make hundreds of the Bells and distribute them randomly in the community to encourage the kindness she had depended on to help her through each day. Jeannette had noticed how a small kind act from a stranger or a friend could be the thing that kept her going in any given moment, and she wanted to find a way to help others and pass on that kindness.
Ben’s Bells are a symbol of kindness and its power in healing, meant to touch others’ lives and make our community a more gentle place to live. Today, thousands of Bells are hung each year.
Found a bell?
Tell us about where you found a Ben’s Bell, and what it meant to you.