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upworthy

buddy bench made with recycled bottle caps

This is just one of her many projects

When Sammie Vance first approached her principal at Haley Elementary with the idea of installing “buddy benches” into her school playground, the concept was simple: help others feel less lonely.

Little did she know that it would not only accomplish that goal, but evolve into something so much bigger.

After first hearing about buddy benches (where a child can go sit to signal “hey, I’d like someone to play with”), Sammie was immediately inspired. What a great way to make sure no one feels alone.

The good news? Her principal loved the idea. The not-so-good news: benches are expensive. Just one would cost nearly a thousand dollars.

However, a bench made of recycled bottle caps … that would only be around $250.

So Sammie reached out to others in her community in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to collect enough caps (around 400 lb) to make one bench. Eventually her goal went beyond Indiana, as she tried to get bottle caps from all 50 states.

And thus, the initiative of “Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project” was born.

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