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Bells to ring out across city with notes of kindness

Bells to ring out across city with notes of kindness

Across the city today, the bells of kindness will chime anew.

About 65 volunteers spent the morning hanging 500 Ben's Bells across Tucson in the 12th distribution of the project, which Jeannette Maré-Packard and her husband, Dean, began in 2003.

The couple wanted to honor the memory of their son, who died of croup just before his third birthday, in March 2002, and encourage us to be kind to one another.

The distribution means more than 9,000 bells will have been randomly distributed throughout Tucson and other cities around the country, including New Orleans. Another 300 will go to Portland, Ore., in May.

Other chimes have even traveled internationally with friends of the Packards.

The project also takes its act to schools, companies and other spots for mass bell-making sessions.

Maré-Packard said she's been reflecting on the ever-growing scope of the project.

"So many people — thousands and thousands — are supporting this effort to spread kindness," she said. "These people are acting on pure faith and belief in the power of kindness. It's amazing to me. It makes me very optimistic about real change actually happening in our world."

The project also includes weekly "bellings," honoring those who regularly practice kindness.

Two "bellees" have given away more than 250 bicycles. / B4

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