:: The Wildcat Online | Jeannette Mare-Packard ::

Jeannette Mare-Packard

Interview conducted by Kelly Lewis
April 9, 2007

Jeannette.jpgJeannette Mare-Packard, an adjunct faculty member of deaf studies and the executive director of Ben’s Bells, has directly impacted the lives of thousands with her organization and its message to spread kindness.

Ben’s Bells are hand-crafted wind chimes placed in random places around Tucson twice a year to spread a message of kindness. Mare-Packard started the project with her husband to honor her son Ben, who died at age 3.

In a recent interview with the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Mare-Packard discussed balancing her role as a teacher with the demands of Ben’s Bells and expanding bell distributions across the nation. She also shared some of the stories that reinforce the importance of her central message: Be kind.

Wildcat: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jeannette Mare-Packard: I am an adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona and I teach sign language interpreting. … I went to the UA, my father was a professor at the UA, so I’ve been a UA person for a long time. After the death of my son five years ago, I started a nonprofit organization called the Ben’s Bells Project. Ben’s Bells are ceramic wind chimes that we hang all over the community and we have a studio just west of the university where people come, hang out and work on making Ben’s Bells.

W: What is the message behind Ben’s Bells?

JMP: The whole point behind Ben’s Bells is how powerful the simple acts of intentional kindness can be. That’s what our mission is, with Ben’s Bells, is to be kind. All of the stuff we are doing is to just get people thinking about it more. I want people to wake up in the morning and know that they have the power to spread good throughout the day. We don’t have to all be making massive grand gestures; we just all need to be consistently kind in small interactions, and, eventually, it will change the world. Continue

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