From Tucson to Newtown: Local group hangs symbolic bells in mourning community

CREATED Dec. 19, 2012 - UPDATED: Dec. 20, 2012

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Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - It's no secret, that tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting can leave us feeling pretty powerless, especially from thousands of miles away.

One local group is out to change that and help Tucsonans lend a hand to the community of Newtown, Connecticut.
For 8 year-old Zander and 10 year-old Alexis Los, explaining what happened in Newtown is simple.
"There was a person who went into a school, and he shot some kindergardeners and the teacher," said Alexis.
"He just went over to that school and started shooting," said Zander.
How it made them feel?  Also pretty clear.
"Terrible.  I wasn't happy about it at all," he said.
"Nobody wants to be killed, especially a little kid," she added.
But what to do about it?  That's the tough part.
Until now.
"We'll go in, and we'll hang the bells inconspicuously, and then we'll just get out," said Jeannette Maré.
She founded Ben's Bells in memory of her three year-old son, who died of the croup in 2002.
Today, the group promotes kindness and compassion through these simple, volunteer-made trinkets.
It's a message that will soon make its way across the country.
"The support, the hope, the healing, the kindness does remarkable things for people and for communities, and so that's the gift we're hoping to offer to Connecticut," she said.
In all, Maré and her team hope to hang 1,000 Ben's Bells across Newtown.
They'll do it on a day that serves as a connection between the two communities.
"January 8th," she said.  "We'll do that as a gift from Tucson to the Connecticut community in honor of the anniversary of the shooting here in Tucson."
Until then, Maré is calling on the public to help them build their bell stash.
It's a task that, Zander and Alexis say, helps them cope in return.
"It makes me feel happy for them," said Zander.  "So they can be happy like we are in Tucson."
"Hopefully... they will feel my love and other people's, too," added Alexis.
Directors of Ben's Bells estimate the trip will cost roughly $7,500 total.  Donations are welcome.
There are several more ways you can contribute to the Ben's Bells mission.
Options include:
-Making a bell:  The activity is free, and available to all ages.  For studio locations and hours, head to
-Sponsoring a bell:  To do so, head to the above website.
-Writing a 'Kind Note':  These will be attached to the bells.  You can write your own, or download a template from the above website.
-Liking Ben's Bells on Facebook
-Being intentional about spreading kindness