your stories

Kolleen Wehde writes …

October of 2013 Mary Pridmore, a volunteer from Be Kind Idaho came to our Extended Resource classroom to share about the Ben's Bells Project. Our class made Kindness coins and they all signed Kindness contracts. One of the things she told our class was that people find Ben's Bells when they need them the most.

This January 2015 one of my students who had been in class the day we signed contracts and learned about Ben's Bells unexpectedly passed away. The teachers and students were devastated. We were told of his passing on a Friday. That weekend on a walk with my husband and daughter, I found Ben's Bells and remembered about finding them when you need them the most. I brought them to school and they hang on the board in front of the classroom as a reminder to all of us to always Be Kind. One of the students said our bells should be called Trey's Bells. Everyday, when writing or erasing, I bump the bells and the chiming reminds us all of our special, kind friend, Trey.

Posted on May 18, 2015

Gina writes …

On May 9th I was at work at one of the local hospitals in Tucson, working the night shift feeling very tired & sad. Mother's Day would be coming up at midnight & I recently had lost my mom to cancer & this was going to be the first Mother's Day without her. All week long I had been thinking about her & what we would have done for the day & just to know that would never happen again made me very melancholy. Walking through the halls, I saw a very colorful item hanging from the handle of the door where the fire extinguishers are kept. It was a Ben's Bell. Just reading the card made me smile. I had never heard of Ben's Bells but once I got home I showed my daughters the bell & one of them said she had heard of these bells. I looked these up on line & read the story of their origin. My heart just broke but what a beautiful legacy these bells have created. I know they brightened my day. I have been thinking about the message on the bell & it makes me want to try harder to be kinder & more thoughtful to others.

Posted on May 11, 2015

Jessica writes …

I found a my beautiful Bell hanging from a mesquite tree right across from the Gould-Simpson Building on University of Arizona. My boyfriend was getting his PhD in a lab in the building and I saw it walking from class to go grab him for lunch. As soon as I saw it I knew what it was and was ecstatic. In Tucson the Bells get hidden around town once or twice a year, and two years earlier my best friend found hers. I looked around and saw I was the only one on the street, before gently removing the Bell from it's spot on one of the lower branches. I went up to get my boyfriend and showed him the Bell and he was confused (he'd never heard of them and didn't have a clue why they were so special) and asked if it was stealing. I happily explained Ben's Bells to him, and he grinned and said that he couldn't wait to see if he found one. My Bell has been with us through two house moves, and is currently hanging in our kitchen window. It makes us smile to hear it chime, and we love having such a wonderful visual reminder to be/act kind whenever we get the chance.

Posted on May 11, 2015

Veronica Noyce writes …

I have been fortunate to have found two Ben's Bells within 10 years. The first time, I was a student, with a 6 year-old daughter and a lot of stress...lack of money, loads of course work, constantly rushing around. I was leaving home one morning, feeling down. I put my daughter in the car, adjusted my rear-view mirror to back down the driveway to my small cinder block duplex. It was a chilly winter morning in Tucson, AZ. I glanced in the mirror, and noticed something uncharacteristically colorful on a small tree in the little desert lot, across the street from my home. "What is it Mama?" my daughter Sacha asked, as I swung in next to the desert and parked in the street. I gingerly reached through the thorny branches, and there it was: A purple hand, with a heart at the center. I read the message "This bell is for you, as a reminder to spread kindness..." My little girl was very impressed with it, so we hung it in the car side window as I drove her to school. Later that year, I hung it in my classroom. As a new teacher, I was now invested in teaching kindness, but I had always tried to be kind, even during the worst moments. Flash forward, my daughter is now 15. We've had our share of disagreements. One day, so I wouldn't lose my cool around her and her friends, I left the house to walk along the Rillito River- walk, to reflect and "chill out". It was just this past April, I found my second bell in a young mesquite tree in the little park by the river. I was sitting, kind of meditating on my life now, feeling a little down and spent. And there it was. Just six feet away from where I was sitting. This one has a dove, and is blue/green. They always seem to show up right when I need the reminder most--be strong, be kind. I miss those days when we (my daughter and I) used to go to the Geronimo Center and make bell parts, painting and having fun. But now, I get to share the awesomeness of the Ben's Bells, and the message of kindness they bring, with my students.

Posted on May 11, 2015

Cheryl writes …

I was walking my dog outside of the hotel in which my husband and I are staying when I heard the sweet ring of a bell. Hanging in a tree next to me, was a beautiful Ben's Bell. What a difference this act of kindness made for me. We live in a town 2.5 hours north of Meridian, Idaho. My husband is recovering from surgery he had three days ago before we drive back home. He was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and the surgery was another part of that story. He then sustained a traumatic brain injury one year ago last week and is now disabled. Needless to say, our lives have changed dramatically.

I just viewed the story about Ben and realize again, that life can be sweet and hard at the same time. Hearing how others have passed through life's challenges and found ways to obtain peace is encouraging to one who is struggling. The bell will be a treasured gift and it gives hope to me. Thank you to the person who placed this bell.

Posted on May 4, 2015

Andrea Stokes writes …

My name is Andrea Stokes, I live in Greensboro N.C. My 15 year old daughter found my Ben's Bell at Target Shopping center on Wendover Ave. here in Greensboro, the early part of April she found it on the bench beside the entrance door, she said she saw it when she first walked into Target but she thought it belonged to someone, then after she done a little shopping and left the store she saw it was still on the bench so she picked it up and said to her cousin who was shopping with her, "My mom would love this", so she picked it up and brought it home to me. When i first saw it i was instantly drawn to it,and after i read the card i knew it was meant for me. mine is not hanging outside, i have mine hanging off the lamp switch in my bed room, every morning when i wake up and turn on the lamp the bell rings which reminds me to Thank God for another day on this earth and to go about the rest of my day being kind. I love my bell, I wont place it outside because I don't want anything to happen to it, plus i like it on my lamp as a reminder every morning to be kind throughout my day and at the end of the day when i turn my lamp off i think of who was i kind today. Thank you to whoever left Ben's Bell at the Target shopping center on Wendover Ave in Greensboro N.C.

Posted on May 4, 2015

Angela Moreno writes …

My mom had always been fond of humming birds & butterflies, since her passing 3 years ago every time we see a humming bird or butterfly my kids say it's their grandmother checking in on them. Today on my lunch hour I stopped at a park and a humming bird was hovering near by so I began to follow it. That precious little bird lead me straight to the tree where I found a Ben's Bell. Since this is the 2nd Ben's Bell I have found I gifted today's bell to someone who has always been there for me since I met her in 2011. My youngest son was diagnosed with a rare Leukemia on May 8, 2008 and has had to take chemotherapy every night since then. Every now and then he becomes very ill and is hospitalized, this person I gifted today's bell to, has always been there for me and my son. I couldn't think of a better gift to say "Thank You!"

Posted on May 1, 2015

Kelly Reed writes …

Wow! I just found my Ben's Bell in Eagle, Idaho today. My afternoon plans were interrupted when I received a text from my son complaining about a toothache in his molar. I had not planned to go anywhere today, so I found myself a little irritated to have to make the 30+ minute drive out to my son's school and then 30+ minutes back to our dentist's office. To top it off, when I called the dentist to give them a head's up that we were on our way, they told me that they usually close at 4:00 (it was now 3:40) so could I please get there ASAP as the doctor was waiting for us?! At the office, I swung quickly into the closest parking spot to the door and jumped out of our car. In my hurriedness, I could have easily missed the bell hanging in the tree next to the parking space. Fortunately, the bright blue color caught my eye! I knew right away that I was looking at a Ben's Bell, as I have 2 friends who have found them. I took it down out of the tree and my son wanted to know why I was taking it. I told him I was supposed to take it and we later watched the informational video. My son's tooth was refilled and it feels better already! Thank you to whoever placed this Ben's Bell for us to find!!! It brightened both my son's and my day! It also reflects the kindness of our dentist who stayed late at work on a Friday! It will remind us that no matter how busy we may be, or how we want our day's schedule to go, there is always time and room for kindness. Thank you also to the special volunteers who made this beautiful remembrance for Ben and our community.

Posted on May 1, 2015

Theresa writes …

It was like any other morning when I left CT Hospice in Branford CT except that for some reason I got all my work and charting done on time and I was out early. I trudged to my car looking about for signs of spring but not feeling that sense of lightness that comes as the weather warms. All of a sudden, as I walked by a bench to my right, I see a colorful piece of artwork careful wired to the backrest of the bench. Right away I saw it was a type of wind chime and thought it fell from a tree. Then I saw the note and realized.....it was for me! I have been feeling so hopeless and have been unkind to myself for some time. I have been too full of what ifs and should haves to not see the miracles right in front of me. I have felt darkness and sadness. I had an overwhelming feeling that the unkindness of the world was here to stay....I found this bell and listened to the story of Ben and thought of my own son. How can I teach him about love and hope if I do not BELIEVE? Today....I will pick up my son from school and tell him the story of my bells as we drive to Newtown to paint some clay so that someone else may find hope and believe kindness IS possible. It is said that all you have to do is light one candle in darkness and you will have light....thank you Ben for shining your light on me today!

Posted on April 28, 2015

Liz writes …

Found a bell hanging on the palo verde tree in the parking lot at Trade Joe’s (Tucson). Who would do that? It wasn’t there when I parked. Was it for me? I got out of the car and read the card. I’ve been a reader/follower of Paramahansa Yogananda ‘s work since I was 15. This morning I had just asked for guidance….and there it was on the tree! Thank you.

Posted on April 24, 2015

Jodette writes …

I found my bell Easter day in Jamestown NC.
I was actually feeling a bit lonely since my family lives in other states.
When I found the bell and read the kindness card I felt a loving reminder...I am not alone. I truly wanted to say thank you...whoever left them their. You made my day!!!

Posted on April 19, 2015

Sallie writes …

Found a Ben's Bell this morning in Greensboro, NC. I have much apprehension surrounding changes in my life, and this was an amazing boost for me. I will hang this as a reminder to ground myself, and reset my intentions based in kindness. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the random LOVE today!!! I didn't realize how much I needed this….

Posted on April 18, 2015

Carole writes …

The most amazing occurrence happened to us this week! I have followed the story of Ben's Bells Project for quite some time:))) I ordered a mini Ben's Bells (since a true Ben's Bell can only be found~not purchased) to honor my precious dearly departed Mom whom was the kindest-hearted soul. On the day I received it and placed it in the just right place in our back yard, we decided to take our dog for a walk in our local town park. Lo and behold, it was a God moment as we found an original Ben's Bells left with a note of kindness. It was a faith deepening experience on the timing and the rare chance of us ever seeing a Ben's Bells in our little town of Jamestown, NC. My most sincere gratitude for the message mission of intentional kindness that you have shared with my family. Sending you Ben's Bells Blessings!

Posted on April 15, 2015

Mireya writes …

On 4/12/2015 I went to Mt. Lemmon to visit the site where my best friend's ashes were spread and on the top of Mt. Lemmon by the area where the sky lift turns around, my friend and I saw the Ben's Bell hanging from a pine tree. It was a wonderful surprise. I had heard so much about the bells but I thought that only a few people who were nominated got the bells.

I am so grateful to have found the Bell and I feel special. It made my day! I think this is wonderful way to honor the memory of Ben. God bless his family. He will never be forgotten.

Posted on April 13, 2015

Sandy Mcclurg, Star, Idaho writes …

On Thursday, I was at my parish, Holy Apostles Catholic Church, in our adoration chapel. I approached the chapel head down because of the glare from the setting sun. After my hour of prayer and meditating with Our Lord, I was returning to my car and there I saw my Ben's Bell. With spirits lifted I received this beautiful gift of some else's kindness.

I lost my husband and sister to cancer within a year of each other I'm often lonely no matter how many people are around me. But, I know every time I see this bell I will think of the gift that Ben's family has given to us all. God bless your family.

Posted on April 11, 2015

Linda Calandrella writes …

This story is really about our daughter...She is an adult now living in Boise. Her husband is on the road much of the week which makes her responsible for most of the day-to-day "stuff" of life, at times, overwhelming. They have two very involved daughters, ages 14 and 8, so she also spends much time in her car schlepping the kids of two such different ages to/from school and to their widely age-diverse activities. Today, she was also in physical therapy for severe back and leg pain (maybe brought on by stress???). As she described it to me, it was a "terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day", from the book of the same name, when she ran into the grocery store for one item, taking less than 5 minutes. Returned to her car, backed out against the median strip behind her where a tree was planted and saw what she thought might have been trash hanging from the tree, so was going to get it to put in the trash. As she got out, she realized that, instead, it was a beautiful Ben's Bell that lifted her spirits and changed the whole tone of her day. She not only called me from the car to tell me what a special gift she received in her day, but e-mailed us tonight with a picture of it hanging now in their backyard tree. She was listening to her little girl read Diary of a Wimpy Kid to her, while closing her eyes and thinking of her Ben's Bell! It is amazing how one act of kindness can bring such an amazing change from misery to joy in a day. Thank you, Jeannette, for creating continuing beauty in our world!

Posted on April 7, 2015

Robin McNally writes …

I found by bell in early February hanging from a tree near the Tuscon Convention Center. I was traveling alone and decided to walk back to my hotel when I saw this pretty thing hanging from a tree. I was delighted to read the tag that said I could keep it and took it down from the tree thinking how wonderful it was and feeling very lucky. As I walked further, I came upon a mosaic mural that read "all there is is kindness, kindness is all there is" I was blown away by the double message I received! Today I found someone had broken the flower on my bell, I was upset but had to remember the message that the bell gave in the first place.....I'll glue it back and keep it as a reminder to pay it forward. Thanks for giving me faith.

Posted on April 4, 2015

Julie Hasselberger writes …

On Saturday March 28, 2015, my husband John and I took our severely disabled son over to the Brookfield Y to have a swim in the therapy pool. Swimming is so good for him since he is confined to a wheelchair. I was having an exceptionally sad morning for reasons I can't recall, but it was snowing too.

It was so cold and windy as we were leaving after our swim. In the wind I caught the sound of a bell and saw a Ben's Bell hanging on a branch near the parking lot. I stood and stared at it for awhile. Living in Sandy Hook, I knew exactly what it was. My husband said he wasn't sure if I could take it, so I took it off the tree and went back inside to the desk. I told them that I found this outside, and that I didn't want to take it if it was there for a reason. The guy behind the desk smiled at me, "if you find one, you take it home. So its now yours."

I have it hanging in my kitchen and I stare at it. I am so grateful that I found that bell and for everything it represents. Not only do I have a severely disabled medically fragile son, but I suffer from depression and fibromyalgia. Whoever placed that bell there, gave my heart such a boost of love on a freezing cold snowy day in March.

Thank you.

Posted on April 1, 2015

Jocelyn Ciardulli writes …

I am at a very difficult point in my life, needing to make some life changing decisions that are anything but easy to make. I have noticed that being in this rough spot has made me an unpleasant person to be around at times. I tend to take my frustrations out on my family, and they are having a hard time understanding why I am so upset all the time. I find that I do some of my best soul searching while out enjoying the beautiful desert I live in. This past Sunday, 3/29/15, my husband and I took to the Pima Canyon Iris Dewhirst trail head. After a few hours of enjoying all that mother nature had to offer, we called it a day and decided to head back. Almost to the end of the hike, my husband points to a Ben's Bell that somebody had left. Coming across this gem has really made me stop and think about the way I have been handling my problems lately, and how fortunate I am to have a family that loves me unconditionally (even when I am grumpy). Regardless of my current situation, I cannot continue to take it out on those around me. This was a wake up call for me, really made me stop and take note of how "unkind" I have been. So, thank you to whoever placed the Ben's Bell on that trail, you really made my day, week, month, and year! I will consciously move forward spreading love and kindness to those around me!

Posted on March 31, 2015

KimNichelle writes …

While out walking my dogs with my boyfriend this beautiful Sunday afternoon in Broomfield, CO, I saw something hanging from a tree near the end of our walk. Since I was tired I almost didn't walk over to take a closer look. I'm glad I did! I found this chime with a note attached telling me to take it and bring it home and remember to spread kindness. I am happy to have found this treasure and will proudly hang it from my balcony. I will be reading up on your organization to see how I can share this experience with others. Many thanks to the person who left it for me to find.

Posted on March 29, 2015

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