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