NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We can all use a little more kindness. Ben’s Bells Project is holding a fundraising event in Newtown on Sunday, May 22, called Celebration of Kindness.

Jeannette Mare, the founder and chief kindness officer, lost her son, Ben, suddenly just before his third birthday in 2002. He died of croup virus which is a very common virus, but typically not deadly.

“I was thrown into intense grief that I didn’t really know what to do with, and I had to go, you know, I had to put one foot in front of the other and keep on going at every turn.”

Mare found some comfort in making ceramic wind chimes. She started Ben’s Bells in her garage with friends and family. 

“What we did was on the first anniversary of his death, we hung them all around Tucson, Arizona where we live for people just to find with a simple note, so if you found a Ben’s Bell, you were to take it home and remember to spread kindness.”

The Celebration of Kindness event is Ben’s Bells’ biggest fundraiser, and 2022 marks 20 years of Ben’s Bells. 

“It’s significant for us on a few levels, one definitely the fundraising, but also it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the work we’re doing and to celebrate the communities that believe in intentional kindness and the impact that can have.”

Sunday’s event takes place at Reverie Brewing Company in Newtown from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will include live entertainment, food, drink, and a live and silent auction. Click here to purchase tickets.

For more information about Ben’s Bells, visit