Ben's Bells in Newtown

Ben's Bells in Newtown

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Inside an old hardware store in a strip mall in Newtown, Conn., volunteers were hard at work Monday afternoon.

By molding ceramic beads and painting them in bright colors and bold designs, they were creating little reminders that kindness can help heal. It's a message that has resonated through the community of Sandy Hook in Newtown, and beyond.

"People that are hurting, it gives them something to do, something to help others with," said Jennifer Avari of the community arts workshop, where dozens of adults and children came to work on a project known as Ben's Bells. 

The idea behind the project is simple: be kind.

"If you see a Ben's Bell, you'll see the note they put on it, it says please take me home and please remember to do acts of kindness," Avari explained about the Bells.

Fox 5 first featured Ben's Bells in January, when when a group from Arizona came to Newtown to hang thousands of bells on the second anniversary of the Tuscon shooting that killed six and wounded a dozen others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The January 8 trip was led by Jeannette Mare of Tucson, who started Ben's Bells 10 years ago in honor of her son Ben, who died unexpectedly when he was just 3.

Volunteers make the Bells and then hang them in public places for people to find randomly.

After the bells were hung around town in Newtown, the response was so positively overwhelming that local moms Jennifer Avari, Jodi Adolfson, and Beth Krueger decided to start their own chapter to make and distribute the bells.

"Everyone wants to be involved," Avari said.

At Monday's workshop Ellie Newton, 9, was among the group working on the bells. She said she hoped they would bring cheer to families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

"It's fun and I hope it helps heal their hearts because it's really sad," Newton said.

"It's a simple message, but a very powerful message," said Jodi Adolfson of the project. "I just wish that things were difference, maybe if kindness had been shared with others, maybe this wouldn't have happened and maybe it wouldn't happen again if people were just nicest to one another."

Since the chapter opened last month hundreds have taken part in the Newtown workshops, including elementary school students.

http://www.facebook.com/BensBellsNewtown

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