A school and community have come together to collect over 1600 pounds of bottle caps with the intent of having them melted down into three buddy benches. The Buddy Bench Project has now been completed at Haley Elementary.
One cap at a time, to eventually 1600 pounds of them, has turned plastic into three, sturdy Buddy Benches.
"It was amazing. I felt like crying, I felt like cheering. It was just remarkable," Samantha's Mom Heidi Vance said.
Third grader Samantha Vance started the Buddy Bench Project at Haley Elementary School around 3 months ago, and is very excited to see it completed. "I was really excited. They looked really cool."
So how does the Buddy Bench work? The Buddy Benches will be placed on two playgrounds at the school, so if you see a child sitting on a Buddy Bench, you know they are in need of a friend.
Samantha's Mom Heidi Vance says the goal is to prevent bullying. "It's a great solution. Kids don't have to feel intimidated, be comfortable, and know that somebody could ask them to play. Or if they are insecure or just want a new friend, they could sit there as well."
And other elementary kids agree."Yes, I've found out there's a lot of people I've seen going out crying," Fifth Grader Aaron Vance said. "Trying to look for friends. I've thought this is a good idea, I'll go out and help the people."
Samantha hopes the benches result in happier kids. "I think it's really important, because I don't want anybody to feel lonely. And I want everybody to have friends."
The Buddy Bench Project may be complete at Haley Elementary, but now four other elementary schools have decided to start collecting caps at their schools, so they can have Buddy Benches as well.