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Man builds benches for bus stops without seats

Words by Smiley Team

James Warren was in his Denver neighborhood walking when he saw a woman sitting in the dirt at a bus stop. 

“I was like, 'Oh man, that sucks.' That's not dignified at all. We need to be doing better by our fellow city members,” Warren told CBS News. “And so, I thought, 'I could do something about that, I can build a bench.'”

James went to finding scrap wood in his neighborhood at construction sites and with the skills he picked up watching his father build homes he went to work building benches. 

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Since his first bench at the beginning of the year, he’s built eight benches for eight different bus stops and each one looks different based on whatever wood he’s using since the wood he gets is scrap wood. He then delivers the bench to a stop that needs a seating area. 

Even though every seat looks different each is engraved with the message, “Be kind.”

“Sometimes it's difficult to really make a change in the world around us, or it can feel really difficult to make a change in the world around us. But the truth is, anyone can be kind. And by being kind, you can make a difference in the world around you. And that difference matters a lot. So, maybe just a little reminder to people,” James said.

James has also heard from the community about his project and has inspired others to do similar.

He's seen others online who have been building their own benches, or donating chairs to the bus stops instead of letting them go to landfill. 

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: Transportation Alternatives is a non-profit that helps reclaim streets and make them safer for individuals instead of just cars. Consider donating. 

SUPPORT: Look into how you can start a project similar to the benches. Try and help people in your community.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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