Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project Unveils New “Kindness” Bench
Jefferson Pointe, Fort Wayne’s premier open-air lifestyle center, today unveiled a new bench in partnership with Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project, which was created by local resident Sammie Vance in 2017 when she was just 8 years old and has since gained national attention for its efforts to eliminate loneliness by encouraging individuals to foster friendships.
The benches, which are built out of roughly 200 pounds of recycled plastic caps and lids, are intended to provide a place for kids to sit when they want to make a new friend, or they feel left out. The bench at Jefferson Pointe was made possible due to Vance’s friend, Emery O’Connor, who sold 120 pairs of handmade clay earrings at goodMRKT, a highly curated shop showcasing purpose-driven brands, to help fund the project. The bench reveal coincides with Vance’s official launch of her debut book “Inspire the World: A Kid’s Journey to Making a Difference” at goodMRKT.
“We could not think of a better and more fitting location for Jefferson Pointe’s first Buddy Bench than right outside our store,” said Harry Cunningham, co-founder and managing partner of goodMRKT. “Our mission is built on the belief that we can make an incredible impact when good people, great products and exceptional causes come together. Sammie’s amazing success with the Buddy Bench Project shows that the most exceptional causes are often the simplest ones – like the importance of kindness, community and friendship in our lives, no matter our age.”
The 541,040-square-foot, open-air lifestyle center features lush landscaping, sparkling fountains and is home to more than 70 shops and restaurants, providing the ideal destination to gather with friends and family to shop and dine or just relax and socialize.
“Jefferson Pointe continues to be a hotspot for visitors looking to shop for the latest trends or grab a bite to eat,” said Brian Cote, general manager of Jefferson Pointe. “Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project aligns perfectly with our goal to offer a little something for everyone in order to create a social hub for locals and travelers to come together to enjoy each other’s company.”
Through Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project, benches fashioned from recycled plastic caps and lids have been donated to parks and schools throughout the U.S., Mexico, Australia and Africa. The Buddy Bench at Jefferson Pointe marks Vance’s 79th bench in the Fort Wayne area to date.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to spread our mission throughout the country, as well as outside of the U.S., but it feels extra special to be able to bring another Buddy Bunch to my hometown,” said Sammie Vance, founder of Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project. “You never know who might be feeling lonely, so I hope this new bench serves as a reminder to be a friend to those around you and spread kindness wherever you go.”
For more information about Jefferson Pointe, visit reddevelopment.com/jefferson-pointe
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