James Warren was walking through his Denver neighborhood when he saw a woman sitting at a bus stop on the ground and thought, “That's not dignified at all. We need to be doing better by our fellow city members." He could have left it at that, but instead he decided to do something about the problem.
Warren’s father is a homebuilder and he had the tools, so he picked up some discarded wood scraps from a construction site and built a bench for the bus stop. That was earlier this year and after building that first bench and placing it at that one bus stop, he’s gone on to build seven more, placing them at stops around the area. Each bench is unique and takes him a couple of hours to construct, but all of them are branded with the message: “Be Kind.”
Warren has gotten some feedback from his benches from some who’ve used them and others who he’s inspired to build their own benches, which he appreciates. “It can feel really difficult to make a change in the world around us. But the truth is, anyone can be kind,” Warren explains. “And by being kind, you can make a difference … And that difference matters a lot." He hopes that his benches will continue to inspire others to be helpful and kind and maybe that will expand far beyond his neighborhood.