PHOENIX — Piece by piece a mural with an important yet simple message is taking shape inside the dining hall at St. Vincent De Paul in Phoenix.
Artist Chad Borseth tells ABC15 he is bringing his talents here as a part of the nonprofit Ben's Bells.
A Valley organization helping to spread kindness across the nation for over the past 20 years.
“Really our origins stem out of tragedy, our founder Jeanette lost her son very young, and she recognized the importance that kindness had while she was going through her grieving process,” said Borseth.
In 2002, founder Jeannette Marés’ son Ben died suddenly just before his 3rd birthday. During the family's surmountable pain, family, friends and neighbors showed heartfelt gestures.
“What I learned from my experience is that kindness is powerful and strong and vital,” said Maré.
That’s when the Ben’s Bell was born.
Ben’s Bells are colorful ceramic ornaments hung in communities throughout the world as symbols of kindness for people to find and take home.
“So, it says you’ve found a Ben’s Bell, take it home, hang it, and remember to spread kindness throughout your world, so we hang hundreds of these up every year for people to find in parks, along hiking trails,” said Borseth reading the tag of a beautiful handmade bell. “They are made by volunteers, and we hang them on our vacations to other states. Many times, we’ll get emails from people who find them telling us how they passed along kindness.”
The organization also speaks at schools. Teaching kindness techniques to kids while at the same time creating murals in those communities like the one now forming at St Vincent De Paul Monday.
“St Vincent De Paul stands for kindness and love and the home of second chances, and third and fourth and fifth,” said Cindy Bernardo with St Vincent De Paul.
So, what better way to reflect that mission than by bringing together United Healthcare volunteers and those who receive services from St Vincent to create this lasting message.
“You’ll notice there’s a lot of mirrors so that’s another thing that we say, you’ll see yourself reflected in kindness and kindness reflected in you,” said Borseth.
Once finished they hope the words live on through the actions of all those who stand before it.