Elik Essif, holding Ben's Bell, with family, friends and co-workers. "Kindness and caring do not even begin to describe his heart and soul," said Ronnette Benke, who nominated him.


The recipient of this week's Ben's Bell is Elik Essif, whose seemingly small gestures of kindness to his neighbors makes a big impact.

He was nominated by Ronnette Benke, who wrote: "Kindness and caring do not even begin to describe his heart and soul."

Essif has a green thumb, Benke said, so he planted flowers in her front yard and extended his drip system to her flower beds.

"He does these types of caring to all neighbors in the area. Digging plants, fixing lights, setting up motion lights for the safety of others.

"He will do whatever it takes to take care of the ones around him," she said.

Essif is a Boy Scout leader and volunteers with local nonprofit organizations, she wrote.

He also offers one-on-one support.

"When I was experiencing a difficult time, he made sure I was supported from (bringing) muffins in the morning, to flowers in a jar, to a phone call," Benke wrote.

The project

Ben's Bells promote kindness and community. Each week a person who betters Tucson is "belled." Go to www.bensbells.org/BellingForm to submit a name. Go to www.bensbells.org or call 628-2829 for information. Recipients also are featured on Friday's Morning Blend on KGUN 9.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.