FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Sammie Vance says no one should go through life feeling lonely.
"It's not a good feeling and I don't want other people to feel that way," said 11-year-old Sammie.
Back in 2017, Sammie started her Buddy Bench Project after hearing about the initiative at church camp.
She says after feeling left out herself, she thought she couldn't be the only one.
Sammie then established her first Buddy Bench at Haley Elementary School, where she attended, but instead of wood, each bench is made from recycled plastic that others can save and donate to help the environment.
So far Sammie has donated over 100 Buddy Benches nationwide, with 75 benches going to schools in Indiana and even to Fort Wayne's Promenade Park.
And she recently received Gloria Barron award which celebrates the community efforts of those between ages 8 and 18.
Her mother, Heidi Vance, says Sammie has inspired her younger siblings to be considerate of others, too.
"She inspired my youngest daughter to get it started in her preschool," said Vance. "And then my son has initiated asking people to play who are on the buddy bench."
But Sammie says the most important part of her Buddy Bench Project, "you don't just have to be an adult to make a difference, you can be a kid too."