your stories

Pamela writes …

On March 4th, 2002 my nephew Joseph was born. Early into the pregnancy it was determined that Joseph had Trisomy 13 -due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many infants with trisomy 13 die within their first days or weeks of life. Only five percent to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year. It was never a decision if my sister and brother-in-law would continue the pregnancy- they knew it was God’s plan for them to love him for however long he was here on this earth. The day my sister gave birth to Joseph all of our family gathered at the hospital to welcome him into our family and prepare for the unknown. Joseph only lived of couple of hours but those hours were filled with nothing but love for him. My sister and brother-in-law shared those precious hours with the entire family letting us hold and love him, a selfless act that touched my soul. My sister and brother-in-law faith, strength, and compassion are something that I will always admire. I think of my nephew daily. My nephew and God child is our angel in heaven. I wish whoever finds the bell that it brings them happiness and peace.

Posted on June 30, 2015

Cassie writes …

This morning my family gathered to spread the ashes of my grandma and grandpa, who passed on a few years apart. We enjoyed a wonderful time with each other out in nature, and then trekked up a hill overlooking the gorgeous desert. As my dad combined their ashes to spread together, he hung a Ben's Bells that my grandma found several years ago. We each took turns spreading the ashes, said a few words, smiled and remembered them. Before we left, I reached out to ring the Bell a few times in the breeze. We talked about wanting the Bell to stay there forever for us to visit, but know in our hearts that this Ben's Bell will be loved by just the right person who finds it.

Posted on June 20, 2015

Bev Blashill Jutry writes …

Every year when I am able to travel I stock up on Ben's Bells. They have been to Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Bali. Now I am spreading them all over a town in Southern California and they want a shop set up here! It is all good and I hope to make it happen. Taxi drivers to Hotels (where we stayed for 14 weeks from a horrible flood) to an auto mechanic who treats people kindly. My son died 4 years ago, and the acts of kindness mean so much...Thank you Ben's Bells! You will always be in my heart and I will ALWAYS support you. Kudos to Celeste for her song by the way, made me cry....

Posted on June 18, 2015

Mary Bush writes …

I have never heard of Ben's bells until today. It is coming up on the third anniversary of my husband's passing and I had to have my dog put down almost a month ago. Needless to say, I have been very depressed. I came home from work today to find one of these beautiful bells hanging off of a tree in my backyard. I took it as a sign that my husband and beloved Lucky are here and watching over me.

Posted on June 16, 2015

Jo Wells writes …

Have heard of Ben's Bells, but have never seen one. I live in Prescott, AZ and was at Granite Creek Park on Sunday. Recently have had emergency major surgery and was feeling tired, sad, and lethargic.
Then I noticed right in front of my car hanging from a branch on a lovely tree was a Bell! What joy it brought to me! Hope the person that left it will come upon this and see my message.
Had forgotten that the corporate office is in Tucson - - lived there for several years and dearly love it, but just got too large and too hot for me.
Soon will be moving back to VA to be closer to family. The work in taking kindness to classrooms is appealing to me. Who knows? Maybe I can carry the message back east. By the way, have recovered beautifully from the surgery! Thanks again. Jo

Posted on June 15, 2015

David writes …

I have been stressed out, worried, and angry and for what? Only God knows why. Then I came across this bell hanging on a branch on a small tree. I knew what it was only because I had heard of the bells before and even saw one or two as I passed by in my vehicle. I read the card attached and knew that things are all going to be OK. I hung the bell next to my front door so that each time I leave or come home it is there to greet me and remind me what is important in life Love, Kindness and Joy. Pass it on.

Dave

Posted on June 3, 2015

Linda (Crulo) Richardson writes …

My son Scott Charles and wife Arlisha (from Indiana) came out to Arizona, first time in 15 or so years. The next day we drove into Tucson to pick up my brother Bob Crulo (from Colorado). This was such a very special visit due to the fact that Scott and Bob both had life threatening illnesses in the last year and we had not all been together for over 2 years. Arivaca is about 60 miles from Tucson, so on the way home I wanted to show them a few things while we were out. One of the things I wanted them to see was a concrete tomb out in the desert, pretty much off the beaten path to anywhere. We walked over to the tomb and there was hanging a Ben's Bell. I had heard of the project but of course they had not. So the questions started, and I explained as much as I could. We all stood there in awe that we should find this in the middle of no where. We all pretty much decided that it had to be some kind of a sign for us. It is something that we all will remember as maybe 'a sign' of us being together and the visit being flawless.
So thank you, someone, for placing that bell is that particular place at that particular time just for us. We were so impressed that we went into Tucson and painted some of the pieces that go into making the bells. We also now sport 'Be Kind' stickers on our cars.

Posted on May 31, 2015

Pamela Harper writes …

I was happy to receive a kindness token in a card from my friend....which I then passed on to another friend after I read the precious Ben's Bells Story. It was an exciting and moving process. And then, much to my amazement, I found a dear little token and tag hanging by a red ribbon from the branch of a tree in Yellowstone National Park! Kindness and beauty together in this very special place. I was elated because my dear friend Janet's daughter was recently diagnosed with ALS, and I needed to tell and show her that we would be there for her as she walked this path with her daughter. A week later, I gave this token to Janet and we all cried and were strengthened by the promise of kindness we could give anytime, anywhere and always!
Thank you, Ben's Bells.

Posted on May 26, 2015

Debora Lynn writes …

I found my bell yesterday, late afternoon at the Degrazia Gallery.

I came to Tucson to visit my mother. I was only there for a short visit and one thing she wanted me to see was the DeGrazia Gallery - and for good reason. What a treasure, what a joy, what amazing scenery and of course, the art.

We arrived about forty minutes before closing so we decided to tour the museum first, then walk the grounds after. We walked through the Gallery in serenity, completely happy at what we had just seen inside the and then we exited to tour the DeGrazia home.

I was immersed in the beauty and the presence of this stunning gallery nestled in the shadows of the Catalina Mts. We strolled through grounds and as we were heading to the car something in the trees caught my eye. I veered off the path and went to this treasure.

My mother was lagging behind but saw me go to the tree. I noticed this wonderful piece of art gently hanging in the breeze and I just stood there for a minute and looked; it was just slightly out of place but gave me a huge smile.

I saw the tag, read the note on the tag and called my mom over to see. I re-read it a few times and then took it down. We decided to quickly go back inside and ask what it was all about in the gift shop, but the man said, “I have NO idea what that is, or where it came from.” So, as instructed, I took it home.

Home is Oregon, and I had not heard of this wonderful organization (Ben's Bells) …I was out of my head, and my heart when I looked it up on the internet.

Who ever left this has done something very special and I promise, this will ripple out far!

Thank you.

Deepest kindest warmest regards,
Debbie Lynn

Posted on May 26, 2015

Tia Murphy writes …

As a recovering Corporate Executive, widow and survivor of my husband's suicide, caregiver to my dad till he died, a childless orphan now that both of my parents have passed, unemployed and over 60 (just), I could be very miserable if I choose to be but instead I choose to be happy. No one can steal my sunshine. But clouds do often threaten, and yesterday storm clouds lurked on the horizon.

I do a lot of volunteer work. Fortunately, I am in good health, physically active and capable. The 3 Bethel public gardens that I take care of are demanding, often full of trash, evidence of people (and people's dogs) tramping thru them breaking delicate stems and snapping off blossoms. Additionally, this winter was very harsh so some prized plants did not survive making this spring's cleanup and planting a bit disheartening. But the rewards of watching folks sit on my Mom's memorial garden bench enjoying each other or a moment of peaceful solitude makes it all worthwhile.

This Saturday morning, having cleaned up Plumbtrees, my Mom's garden (still needs mulch and edging - will do that today), found me at the Library cleaning out the urns in front of the Seeley House, replacing plants, giving the urns themselves a good spring cleaning and ruminating on the solitary nature of what I do and how often folks think my work is paid for by the town or I am doing this as a court ordered community service.

My work done, tools in the bucket, on my way back to my car, I spotted what I thought was trash on the Lincoln Statue horse's ear. In anger I reached up to remove it and found Ben's Bells. As I read the tag my heart melted, I felt a shiver of awe from head to toe and tears filled my eyes. I know it was not there when I started so it was put there by someone who passed thru while I was working. Was it meant for me specifically to find? Who knows. Does it matter? Not really. It was a message for me to keep the sunshine going, be grateful for what I can do for others, and know that it is appreciated. Is there anything more one can ask for in this life? Not really. Thank you.

Posted on May 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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