Posts Tagged ‘bench’

My friend Di, who is a trustee of our library, caught me going into the building Monday and said she had put a new bench in the Large Print section and asked me to let her know what I thought of it. Little did she know what a kindness I think benches are!

Sydney Page at the Washington Post reports on a kind man who was moved to make a bench for a weary bus rider he’d seen — and was then moved to make another bench and another.

“James Warren rides the public bus a lot in his hometown of Denver. Ever since he went car-free in 2017, he uses buses to get around if he can’t get to his destination on foot or bike. Many of the bus stops, he began to notice, lack seating for riders as they wait.

Then in January, Warren spotted a woman waiting for a bus along a busy road. There was no seating at the stop — and no sidewalk — so she sat in the dirt.

“ ‘For people to have to sit in the dirt while they’re waiting for a bus is just undignified,’ said Warren, 28, who works as a consultant for the Colorado Workforce Development Council. He wanted to do something about it. He decided to build a bench.

“ ‘I just took some scrap wood and went to town,’ Warren said, adding that he hoped this woman — and others seeking a seat — would not need to rest in the dirt again.

“He then realized that one bench was far from enough. There are more than 9,000 Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus stops in the Denver metro area, many of them without seating or shelter.

“Warren decided to contribute what he could. Perhaps, he thought, his homemade bench initiative might get the attention of transit or city officials who would see the need for better bus stops. …

“Since building his first bench in January, he has crafted seven more and placed them at bus stops around Denver — each made from scrap wood he finds in construction dumpsters. As far as design goes, ‘I mostly just wing it,’ Warren said.

“The benches take about three hours to build, and Warren inscribes ‘Be Kind’ on each one — either using a stencil or a wood-burning tool. …

“For Warren, what is most rewarding about his project is knowing his benches are being put to use.

” ‘I get a little giddy when I see someone using a bench,’ he said. ‘They are so thankful. … I met some ladies the other day who were talking about how they used the benches every single day,’ Warren added. ‘It fills me up. It’s air in my tires.’

“Although some of the benches have been vandalized or stolen, Warren said it doesn’t dampen his desire to make them. … ‘It’s not going to stop me,’ he said. ‘I’ll keep doing it. For every bench they steal, I’ll put out two more.’

“Warren said many people have hopped on his bench-making bandwagon, which has motivated him to build more. …

“Aleks Haugom, 32, heard what Warren was doing and was eager to join the effort. They spent an afternoon together building a bench.

“ ‘He showed me how he does it. It’s a pretty simple design, but it seems to work well,’ Haugom said. … ‘This guy has motivation [and not] just a normal amount, huge amounts of motivation. I have never seen anyone quite as motivated as James is to do these things. Hopefully it rubs off on me.’

“Others saw Warren’s work in the local news and decided to take out their tools, too. People also started donating supplies.

“ ‘That puts me over the moon,’ Warren said. ‘That’s the idea. Let’s just all help our neighbors.’ ”

More at the Post, here.

Photo: Suzanne and John’s Mom.
A public bench is a kindness.

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