Ben's Bells

Ben's Bells project spreads kindness throughout Arizona

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The Ben's Bells project started 14 years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Ben's Bells project started 14 years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Each month, the group hangs 100 bells in various locations for people to find. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Each month, the group hangs 100 bells in various locations for people to find. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Each bell has a tag with a simple message. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Each bell has a tag with a simple message. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Anyone, any age with any level of artistic ability can stop in the studio to help create the bells. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Anyone, any age with any level of artistic ability can stop in the studio to help create the bells. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Ben's Bells project started 14 years ago when founder Jeannette Mare's son Ben suddenly died.

In their tragedy, the family found strength in the acts of kindness of strangers. Mare realized the power in kindness.

"So they started making Ben's bells in their backyard and on the first anniversary of Ben's death they hung about 400 bells around Tucson as a way to give back to this community that had been so kind to them," said Christy Brown, studio manager for Phoenix Ben’s Bells.

From there the idea took off, opening the first two studios in Tucson. Then following the mass shooting in Sandy Hook in 2012, victims’ families contacted Mare to come and start a Ben's Bells in their community and she did. Two years ago, she opened the first Ben's bells in Phoenix.

"We kind of carry on the tradition of making the bells here in our studios, all done by volunteers," said Brown.

Anyone, any age with any level of artistic ability can stop in the studio to help create the bells.

"Only two ways to get one, one is to find it out in a public place in the Valley," said Brown.

Each month, the group hangs 100 bells in various locations for people to find. Each bell has a tag with a simple message.

"You've found a Ben’s bell. Take it home, hang it and remember to spread kindness throughout the world," said Brown.

The second way to get a bell is through the "bellee" program.

"You can nominate people who are especially kind in the Valley. A committee meets every month and looks through the nominations and picks the one they think is most deserving of a bell and we surprise them with it," said Brown.

Besides the bells that spread the words of kindness, they also have kindness coins to hand out. The coins read, "Thank you for your kindness. Now pass it on." 

The organization also just started a kind campus program for schools.

"It’s a free program that we have in schools for teachers and administrators all about creating a kinder environment," said Brown.

Ben's Bells is on a mission to inspire, educate and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness.

"Create a kinder community connect with others and just spread kindness," said Brown.

So start looking around, you never know where you might find a Ben's bell.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Ashlee DeMartinoAshlee DeMartino is excited to finally be back in her hometown of Phoenix.

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Ashlee DeMartino
Weekend Weather Anchor

An award-winning journalist, Ashlee has worn many hats in her career, one-woman-band, executive producer, anchor, reporter and morning traffic reporter. However, her main focus and passion is weather.

As a Weather Anchor Ashlee has seen the power and destruction of mother-nature up close and personal, reporting on ravaging wildfires, devastating floods, 100 car pile ups in the fog and the rare snow and ice storm on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ashlee graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and is currently enrolled at Mississippi State University in the Geosciences program finishing her degree in Meteorology.

Fun Facts About Ashlee

  • Former Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader
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