We are thrilled to hear that you have found a Ben’s Bell! Here is some more information about who we are and what your Bell represents.
What is a Ben’s Bell?
Ben’s Bells are handmade visual representations of kindness. These visual reminders are powerful communication tools that bring attention to kindness and serve as reminders that kindness is a shared value in your space. Visual reminders can take many forms, from handmade art to interactive displays to large-scale community installations. They contribute to kinder communities by serving as reminders of one’s kind community and thereby inspiring kind behavior and actions. The power of visuals in a shared space can set a tone where everyone benefits from kind messaging.
How did Ben’s Bells get started?
In 2002, Jeannette Maré’s life changed forever when her son, Ben, died suddenly just before his third birthday. In the months following his death, Jeannette and her friends and family began making ceramic wind chimes – the first Ben’s Bells – in her backyard studio. Being surrounded by supportive people and working with clay toward a common goal was therapeutic for her family and their healing.
During this time, Jeannette learned how a small act of kindness could make such a difference in a person’s life, no matter their background. She wanted to find a way to teach others about the impact of intentional acts of kindness, and so the idea for the Bell came to life. Jeannette and her friends made four hundred Bells and randomly distributed them in the Tucson community on the first anniversary of Ben’s death. Through these Bells, she had found a way to pay forward the kindnesses that had been shown to her.
This started a powerful ripple effect. People who found the Bells shared their own stories of grief and healing and hope. The local newspaper printed the story on the front page. School groups and businesses and individuals started calling to see how they could get involved and soon, thousands of Tucsonans were helping to craft Ben’s Bells.
What does Ben’s Bells do?
Since 2003, Ben’s Bells has been operating as a nonprofit, growing kindness education programs and continuing to distribute thousands of Bells every year. Today Bells are found all over the world and our free kindness education programming has reached over 1.6 million students.
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved in practicing kindness! Make a donation to support community outreach and kindness education programming, purchase “be kind” merchandise from Shop Kind, volunteer at our community art studios, and learn more about the skills needed to make kindness a way of life. Together, we are building kinder communities.
Found a bell?
Tell us about where you found a Ben’s Bell, and what it meant to you.