your stories

Victoria writes …

Thank You For Your Kindness
On April 2 i found a BensBell hanging in a tree of the Palm Ridge Rec Center
May God Bless You and Keep You Under His Watchful Care

Posted on April 6, 2014

Jennifer Lynn Weston writes …

I noticed a string of colorful ceramic pieces hanging from a bush, whilst walking across the green in Milford, CT (I was in town running an errand.) Though I had not previously heard of the Ben's Bells project, I was happy to take the pretty assembly home, and hang it on my front porch. Surely it shall evoke positive feelings whenever I look at it. :)

Posted on April 5, 2014

Michael Martin & Jenny Sodko writes …

It was a sunny March 30th. I took the ferry across Puget Sound and around 3:PM, I found a parking spot at Swedish Medical Center in Edmonds. This was my second trip to visit my darling, Jenny, at the mental health unit. It had been nine days since she voluntarily admitted herself. This was our fourth extended stay at as many different hospitals since we fell in love nine years ago. The last time was a living nightmare as she went comlpetely psychotic for about a month before she was forced to enter inpatient care. I was living a nightmare and had lost the woman I loved...needed...in my life to a problem that was never going to go away. It was manageable, but she would have to work hard and be faithful to her medications. And I would need to become more diligant, more helpful, and more loving than I'd ever known I could be. We had weathered one of the greatest storms and survived it. Usually, we'd have it under control and would live our lives like "normal" people for a few years and then BOOM; it would come on like a thief in the night, stealing our peace and promise. However, this was the first time she asked me for help before it got bad. This gave me so much hope. I was so proud of her. I was ready to be strong for as long as it took, but would come to find that we were ahead of it and dealt with it in a responsible and grown-up way. She was doing a lot better the day I visited. The voices in her head were rarely there anymore; a faint whisper on occasion. We missed each other so much and the trip to see her was costly. But after nine years, we are more in love than ever before and very committed to one another. I pulled into a shady parking spot and was preparnig to head in when I spotted this colorful string of shapes with a note at the top and a bell at the end. I had to see what it was and why it was there. I'd just found a Ben's Bell. I'm a man of forty four who works on old cars, plays and sings in a rock band, and crafts things, usually out of copper. I also wear my heart on my sleeve and can sometimes be seen wiping tears from the corners of my eyes during a sad movie scene (so that people don't see how much of a wuss I can be). This touched my heart. I felt special...that some random act...some kind and thoughtful gesture had graced my stressful day. Jenny was allowed to go out for a walk with me and we stopped by the truck. She saw the bell and I told her how I'd found it. I told her that when she gets home, she gets to hang it wherever she wants. She came home a few days ago and I'm happy to say she is doing quite well. I will always love this woman...even with her affliction, she has been the nicest, sweetest, most selfless person I've ever dated. Today she hung the bell in the Japanese maple beside our back porch. It will help us remember the kindness we felt during one hard period in our lives. Thank you, Jeannette. And thank you Ben...your spirit has had such an impact on our lives...and on this world.

Port Townsend, WA

Posted on April 5, 2014

Alice Klies writes …

I just came back from my mailbox with a package I wasn't expecting. I noticed it was from someone I haven't met officially but have had email and phone conversations with. Recently I spoke to this person who is a fellow writer in Tucson. I agreed to read her manuscript as a "Beta" reader to give her some feedback. We seemed to have an unspoken bond. She kept telling me how "very kind" I was to take the time to read a manuscript from a "stranger." I thought nothing of it...just something I felt anyone might do to help a friend...or stranger. Inside the box I found the sweetest little bell with a ceramic piece. Be Kind is inscribed on its center. Your brochure was enclosed and when I read about your creation of Ben's Bells I cried. What a wonderful, wonderful mission for kindness. God Bless all of you. I will treasure my bell and my new friend in Tucson...and I will make it a must to come to Tucson to meet her. I will also stop by one of your shop locations. Keep up the inspiring work! Blessings, Alice Klies

Posted on April 2, 2014

Crystal writes …

Over the past few years, I've been really struggling with what my "true purpose" is in life and have been trying to adopt a variety of changes to work towards finding and implementing that purpose in my professional life. As part of these changes, I decided to leave my job of nearly 8 years for a new one - one that I felt would be more fulfilling and bring about more good. Unfortunately, I've been really struggling in this new job and questioning if I've made the right decision. Today, after an especially trying interaction that left me feeling frustrated and hurt, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. My heart was heavy throughout the whole walk and as the tears fell, I continued to question why I felt so emotional over something that was seemingly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. As I quieted my mind, I realized and acknowledged that I'm not where I want to be and that this job is not my final destination (as I had hoped it might be). At about the moment I was ready to dive into a pool of discouragement and self-pity, I felt a tiny voice whisper to me "you can still bring kindness and inspire beauty wherever you are". Not a moment later, I looked up and caught a glimpse of the brightly-beautiful Ben's Bell hanging in the tree next to me. When I read the tag attached "…remember to spread kindness throughout our world" I knew that the bell was meant to reinforce what I had just learned. It was beautiful and has inspired me to follow that tiny voice. I'd love to help spread the message of Ben's Bell by volunteering at one of our studios, but I'm in Idaho. Aside from donating and buying a bunch of wonderful items from your website (which I will do this evening), is there a way that folks outside of AZ can help to make bells and spread the Ben's Bells message?

Posted on April 2, 2014

Linda Stubbs writes …

I feel so blessed to find a Ben's Bell! I have 2 brothers with acute leukemia and a son with a substance abuse problem. On Sunday I was feeling really low and my fiance and I went to church. When we left there was a Ben's Bell hanging on the tree next to our car in the church parking lot. It wasn't there when we went in. I know it was meant for me to find and I can't find the words to say how much it meant to me and the hope it inspired. I strive daily to be kind and spread it around but the bell is a reminder daily. Thank you so much to the kind soul that hung it there for me to find. Blessings, Linda

Posted on April 2, 2014

Colleen writes …

I am having emotional issues in my life. My darling Father died unexpectedly on Valentines Day evening. I am going through an emotional divorce. My Mom isn't well. I found a bell outside my workplace while unlocking the doors early this morning.
Seeing the bell, I instantly knew it was meant for me. I took it as a sign from my guardian angels. It was just what I needed. I want to pass this feeling along!

Posted on April 2, 2014

Melanie Barnes writes …

My dog Pita and I were on our morning walk today when I spotted something hanging in a tree at the edge of Carriage Lane Park in Mesa. I have read about Ben's Bells and think it is a beautiful project, so my first thought was "Could it be?!". I walked over to the tree and read the card which delightfully confirmed my suspicion and had me excitedly telling Pita that "We found a Ben's Bell!!". I rushed back home to show my boyfriend - it seems as if it was made for us, since it is blue (his favorite color) and orange (my favorite color). Maybe it is a message to be more kind to each other - like most couples that have been together for fourteen years, sometimes kindness gets buried under the everyday worries and stresses. When I left for work and turned on Pandora, the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" came on and then I noticed a personalized license plate that read "BeLove". What an extraordinary start to my day! I hope you open a studio in the Phoenix metro area, so I can volunteer to help spread the very important message of kindness. Thank you for making my day, week, month, ...

Posted on April 1, 2014

Vawn Smith Schroll writes …

In October of 2012 I had a routine colonoscopy that caused a splenic rupture. Recovery was slow and very painful. October of 2013 I had to undergo another extensive surgery to repair my torn abdominal wall and muscles.
I was a runner before this accident. My dogs and I would head to the park each morning for a daily romp. It's been so long since I had been there.
Today is a beautiful warm day here in Greensboro NC. I decided to venture out to that park I used to frequent and take a walk with a friend. What a wonderful site to see some bright color hanging in a tree. Upon reading the note attached to the bell I felt giddy. It was like a surprise put there just to make me smile. This act of kindness has been just the lift I needed. I can't wait to pass it on......

Posted on April 1, 2014

Diana writes …

On a beautiful Monday morning, I was driving to 7:00am mass at Blessed Sacrament Church when I looked over to a tree in the Sequoya Elementary school and saw a wind chime. I parked my car in the lot, walked to the tree and then tears of joy filled my eyes when I realized that a "Ben's Bell" angel found me! Thank you for that moment which I will hold in my heart forever. I hope to pass this bell on so that your gift of kindness will continue. May you be blessed!

Posted on April 1, 2014

Brittany writes …

I was walking in the park with a friend today when we heard a tinkling sound and found the Ben's Bell on a rail. We were so excited to find out but sadly there were two of us and just one chime. We continued on and saw another one hanging from a tree! Now we could each take one home. We are Social Work Masters students, graduating in just 5 short weeks. This is a reminder of the impact of the work we do each day, trying to push the community to support it's members. Also, we are in Greensboro, NC and wondering how these got all the way out here to us!?

Posted on April 1, 2014

The Brown Family writes …

I was walking into work and saw something hanging from a palm tree in the court yard.
I said to my co worker what is that? We walked closer and found the Ben's Bell and Instantly felt the love and kindness. Two months ago my husband was Diagnosed with Lung cancer and a month ago he had part of his right lung removed. He is doing well but is has taken a toll on all of the family. It is a times like this that the smallest of things lift your spirits. So thank you who ever left this bell every time we here it it ring it will bring happiness to our family and remind us how blessed we are.
Glendale, Az

Posted on March 31, 2014

Patti Creek writes …

My husband and I are workcampers at a 55 and older R.V. park in Mesa Az in the winter and live in Janesville Wisconsin in the summers.Snowbirds. My parents have a place in AZ in th
e winters here in Mesa also. A year ago March 30th 2013 my Dad died of a heart attack while we were here in Mesa. My 6 siblings back in Wisconsin and Indiana had to be notified that their Dad was no longer with us. It was the hardest thing to do. Coming upon his 1st Anniversary my heart was heavy I was emotional about everything. On Saturday the 29th while working at the camp I saw a wind chime hanging in the tree in front of the building we work in. Although I noticed it and wondered why I hadnt noticed it before I went into work anyway. I picked up the paper and a story about a little boy who died in his mothers arms caught my eye. As soon as I started readying it I jumped up and ran to the tree outside. It was a Bens Bell. I havent stopped smiling since. I swear my Dad had something to do with someone hanging it right outside our work. He would want me to be kind and smile he is at peace. I have read alot about Bens Bells since saturday and will be doing something to help next year when we are here. My heart goes out to Bens family and everyone that has volunteered to make his anniversary so special and for everyone that has found a Bens Bell including me.
Hearts Blessings
Patti Creek

Posted on March 31, 2014

Paul Parker writes …

I live in Surprise, AZ and work in Scottsdale, AZ as a Manufacture Rep. I went down to Tucson, AZ to help a dealer work his booth at the SAHBA Show 3-27-14 thru 3-30-14. As I was walking into the show on 3-29-14 by the trolley stop on S. Granada and W. Cushing I saw this thing hanging, so I walked up to it and read the note attached to it and I was so excited that it said to take it, I DID! I will hang this bell in my backyard with pride.
KEEP UP THE RANDOM PLACINGS OF THESE BELLS!

Posted on March 31, 2014

Dana writes …

After 10 years, my husband and I found out I was pregnant and we were finally going to have our second child. We and our daughter had waited so long for this and were very excited. then last week, we were told the baby's heart had stopped and I would have to have a procedure to remove the baby. The night before I was scheduled to have the procedure, my water broke and I went into labor and delivered our second baby. I had never miscarried or lost a child before and was completely heartbroken. I cried everyday, couldn't sleep and barely ate. On Sunday, my husband and I took our daughter to the park along with my family. We were all playing with the kids and I decided to wonder over to the trees. I heard a tinkling sound and looked over and saw a Ben's Bell. I didn't know what it was but saw a tag on it and read the kind message. It instantly put a smile on my face and reminded me that there are good people in this world and to have faith. I took the bell home and my family and I will always treasure it and the hope that it gives us. Thank you!

Posted on March 31, 2014

Kate McCullough writes …

Our little community of Yarnell/Peeples Valley, Arizona is still in the middle of trying to recover from the devastating fire last June 30th, that took many homes and the lives of the 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
Since that time, we have been amazed and overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of peoples from all over the world. We were humbled and touched deeply when the community of Newtown and the Sandy Hook tragedy reached out to us with comfort and advice. Now our thoughts go to the folks involved with the mudslide tragedy in Oso, Washington.
This morning my husband Gerry and I decided to weed and work along a fence line that we usually ignore. And that's how we found the Ben's Bell hanging from a little tree. What a sweet and wonderful thing to find--kept us smiling throughout our weeding and digging. We will not take the bell into our house. We will let it hang on that branch on our little dirt road so our neighbors can enjoy it too.
Our community center will be holding a Ben's Bell workshop this June--the one year anniversary of our fire. We will all welcome the chance to pay it forward.

Posted on March 30, 2014

Cynda writes …

Today my son Sam and I, came home to find a bell on our front gate. We had spent the morning at church and then at the site where my oldest son, Jacob, was killed in Jan. I said to Sam as I got into the truck after retreiving the bell from the gate "It is so amazing the continued kindness we are receiving". I had not heard of Bensbells, but immediately came here and found you. How wonderful. Thank you so much to whoever left it for us to find. We have been truly blessed by the acts of kindness from so many.

Posted on March 30, 2014

Deborah from Phoenix writes …

I took my dog for an early morning walk today. It was a beautiful Spring day. On the weekends I take my dog on a different route. Ceasar (my dog) stopped to take in the smells of a blooming desert Bush. While he was smelling, I was looking at all the plants in bloom. Then something caught my eye. First a small rectangular piece of paper. Then the colors from the chime called out. I had to investigate. Then my hands touched this amazing piece of art. I read the attached note and smiled. Then I told Ceasar it was my lucky day. He must have picked up on my joy because he jumped for joy with me. It was a special moment. I have shared this experience with family and friends. Thank you Ben's Bell. I will definitely pay the kindness forward. Peace:)

Posted on March 30, 2014

Ashly writes …

I found a Ben’s Bell today and I just couldn’t believe it.. I read it over and over again in shock that it was really for me. I have volunteered for Ben’s Bells numerous times and truly love the message it gives. I am a student at the University of Arizona and work in the dorms as a desk assistant. I had been working all day so I stepped outside for some fresh air and was just sitting on a bench thinking. It was a Saturday and all my friends were out having fun at a pool party, but I had to work to earn some much-needed money. I am a senior graduating in 7 weeks having a really hard time with this whole growing up thing. I have been living is Tucson for 5 years now and have learned to call this place my home, and now it was time to leave and start a new chapter in my life. I feel scared, anxious, and sometimes just want to cry. I have many loving friends and family, but still feel so alone at times. Well today I found a Ben’s Bells, and I have a feeling in my heart that everything will be okay. It reminded me to be kind, not only to others but also to yourself, which I often forget to do.

Thank you for the person who left this beautiful gift for me to find. I write this tearing up and hope they know how much this brightened my day.

Posted on March 29, 2014

ashlee dickson writes …

recently I was at anthem park fishing with my dad I walked to get a drink and I found a bell hanging from a tree I went up to the bell and read it and took it off the tree I showed my dad I took it home and hung it to spread kindness I think they are fascinating please look out for these fascinating creations

Posted on March 29, 2014