K.A.T.E. Benches

Acts of kindness really do make a difference! Because of the kindnesses from so many generous people, kindness4kate.org has been able to donate the following benches. Each donated bench was funded differently, and each has a unique story. Some were donated by a single donor, others were made possible by combining individual gifts. Some benches were given to honor someone at a selected school, and some because our family or someone else had a connection with a school. No matter the reasons, all have been possible because of a multitude of kindnesses. Every donation, no matter how large or how small, has had and will have its part in seeing benches placed across the country to promote kindness. Kindness4kate.org extends our sincere thanks to all who have donated to make the benches a reality, because kindness matters, and kindness really does make a difference.




Bench One:

Our first K.A.T.E. bench has been delivered!!! It has gone to Fayetteville Academy in Fayetteville, N.C., and this bench has a very special story behind it. About 6 months into my journey, a kind friend gifted me with a beautiful coaster - {much reminiscent of the tiles I used to paint with quotes on them.} On the back was the story behind these “Care Coasters”. {carescoasters.com} Laura Reeves had lost her twin sister, Caroline, to cancer, and as a way to heal her pain, she began painting these coasters and selling them - the money going to cancer and other meaningful places, etc. I was so intrigued by what she was doing that I decided to reach out to her, and right away we became friends. She was so open and vulnerable and wise in expressing her journey toward hope and healing - and became a huge impetus in encouraging me to create my own non profit. She is an art teacher at Fayetteville Academy and has actually just started her own after-school kindness club - with no knowledge of my project!!! She has been doing a project each week with these young children and teaching them the importance of kindness - she has also been sharing with me all of her wonderful ideas which I, in turn, have been sharing with schools in hopes that they, too, will begin simple acts of promoting kindness. So I am sooooo excited that this 1st bench has been placed in a school where kindness is such a priority.

I want to thank each and every one of you who have either donated to this cause, or have been huge encouragers. What a blessing! And how meaningful it has been to see this spread of kindness!!! So again, a huge THANK YOU to each of you for making all of this possible!


Bench Two:

Our 2nd K.A.T.E. bench has been delivered to the third/fourth grade playground at Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. It is a result of many combined kindnesses from K4K. Kate attended Collegiate from K-12, as did her first cousin, Perrin Thompson Hall. We decided to dedicate bench #2 in Perrin’s memory. She passed away 5 months before Kate, at the age of 26, and fought one of the most courageous battles against cancer that I have ever witnessed. She was kindness personified, so we can think of no greater person to honor for bench #3. Thanks to each of you! xoxoxoxo, eliz







Bench Three:

Our 3rd K.A.T.E. bench has been delivered to Northstar Academy in Richmond Va. This bench was given by several generous members of the Northstar Academy Board of Directors. Northstar Academy is a unique and highly successful non-profit school serving children in grades K-12. They promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with academic, physical and social challenges. Each month the school emphasizes a particular virtue and the month that this bench was delivered was “compassion” month. I can think of no greater trait to encourage. Neither Bill, Thurston, nor I could have ever gotten to this point without the kindness that comes from the compassion of so many. Our deepest thanks to each of you for walking with us on this journey toward hope. xoxoxoxo eliz







Bench Four:

Our 4th K.A.T.E. bench has been delivered to St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Va. and will be dedicated during their kindness month in February. This bench was given by a generous parent St. Chris. alum to honor his 3 sons who graduated from the school where they learned the value of kindness. We are sooooo very excited to have this bench placed on the lower school grounds where Kate spent time with her students when she was a JK aide in 2017. There were many wonderful stories to come out of her class, but one of my most cherished memories from that time was a note written by one of those students. When Mrs. Hunter, their teacher, asked them to write something about Kate after she passed away, this young man wrote, “Miss Childrey is so lucky. She gets to spend the rest of her life in Heaven!” Truth is so often spoken from the mouths of children. Thank you! 











Bench Five:

Our 5th K.A.T.E. bench has been delivered to Westminster Academy at 3rd Presbyterian Church, in Richmond, Va., and it is a result of many combined kindnesses from k4k. Westminster is a school that began because several homeschooling parents wanted to have a place of common support and tutoring for higher level classes. Over the years it has grown to include grades 3-12, and because of its Christian emphasis, kindness is very much a part of the school. While attending my Collegiate 50th reunion, I reconnected with the wife a dear friend {a former Atlanta football player who passed away several years ago} and learned she was still the headmistress of Westminster. I can think of no greater place for bench #5 to be donated. Thanks again to each of you who have made this possible. xoxoxo eliz







Bench Six:

Our 6th K.A.T.E. bench has been donated to Binford Middle School in Richmond, Va. It is the result of combining a big kindness and several smaller ones. A friend of mine and her colleagues, who work for Long and Foster, were partnered with Binford Middle School several years ago to see if they could help make a difference at this inner city school. It had been experiencing very low attendance and the poorly stocked library was an immediate need/problem. They solicited books from clients and that enabled the library to grow by leaps and bounds. As time went on, they also did fundraisers and gathered printers, copiers, labtops, - and even coats and shoes! Needless to say, their kindnesses have made a huge difference in this school that has since seen a major turn around. So what a great place to put bench #6 to further encourage kindness! A huge thanks to each of you. xoxoxoxo eliz







Bench Seven:

Bench #7 has been donated to Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, N.C. as a result a single kindness. This was Kate’s home for 6 years where she taught 4th grade, so needless to say this was a very special place for us to place a bench. But there is more to the story. Several of the administrators, teachers, and students joined together to create a Kindness Council. This council is composed of a representative from grades JK-12 who will serve as “ambassadors” to their respective classes. They call themselves K4K - Kids 4 Kindness! They will be in charge of kindness projects in the classroom and around the school. As their first project, they have challenged each student, teacher, and staff to do one act of kindness a day for 21 days - trying to reach a goal of 10,000 acts of kindness!!! Imagine how many lives will be changed by these 10,000 acts and what a meaningful way to perpetuate Kate’s life! Go Ravens!!!







Bench Eight:

Bench #8 has been given to Mountaintop Montessori in Charlottesville, Va. and is a result of a single kindness. This school serves children and families from infancy through adolescence. They recognize the world as a place of wonder, and trust in the inherent potential of each person. They are guided by the peace, order, and logic of simplicity, and are intentional in their words and actions. They are committed to living as stewards of the earth and to connecting and communicating with empathy and compassion. We are excited to be donating our 8th K.A.T.E bench to Mountaintop Montessori.






Bench Nine:

Bench # 9 has been donated to St. Andrews School in Richmond,Va. as a result of many kindnesses. Their mission states, “St. Andrews transforms lives by providing quality, progressive education to children through a full scholarship. Our whole-child approach nurtures intellectual, creative, moral and spiritual growth, preparing students for success in school and in life.” I had the privilege of visiting the 3rd grade class at St. Andrews and explaining to them the purpose of a K.A.T.E bench - and to help them choose a color for the new playground they were designing. It was an incredible experience to see the enthusiasm of these young students and how compassionate they were. We are truly excited to be donating this Bench # 9 to a school where kindness is blooming.






Bench Ten:

Bench #10 has been donated to Chimborazo Elementary School in the Churchill district of Richmond, Va. as a result of many kindnesses. This was one of the most encouraging visits we have had to date. Bill and I had the pleasure to meet David Peck, the principal of Chimborazo Elementary School. He welcomed us into the school with open, eager arms and was soooooo grateful to be receiving a bench. We were struck by the vibrant atmosphere of this once very dreary school. David is a principal who clearly values kindness, compassion, and provides a nurturing environment for his students. He believes that unless these values are taught and encouraged, then how could he, or any teachers, try to improve the academic achievements of the students. He said many of his kids often faced huge challenges outside of school, and the most basic needs of kindness and compassion were too often neglected - so he was determined to make the effort to do something about that situation. This bench is being placed right by the front door so that every person entering will be reminded that Kind Acts Touch Everyone!!!






Bench Eleven:

Bench #11 has been donated to Summit Academy in Louisville, Ky. as a result of many kindnesses. Summit Academy serves students from pre-K thru high school, and it provides a nurturing educational environment for children with learning differences. Summit provides a place where each student’s learning challenges are understood and met using a whole child approach; a place where a child’s strengths are celebrated and developed, as well as addressing their area of difficulty. It’s a safe place where each young learner is treated and educated as an individual – in an atmosphere of caring and respect that allows our students to succeed. We have not yet had the privilege of visiting this school, but are delighted to donate a bench to a school where kindness is an obvious value.






Bench Twelve:

Bench #12 has been donated to Sheridan Elementary in Sheridan, Mt. as a result of many kindnesses. Sheridan is a very small, rural community in “the middle of nowhere Montana”! We have been blessed to have become friends with many of its residents, and soooooo excited how they have taken on the mission of kindness for their school - not only in the elementary grades, but all grades thru high school. Many of the parents and teachers have embraced spreading kindness through a variety of inspiring activities. They organized a contest to design a kindness t-shirt logo, hosted motivational speakers, and engaged high school students as mentors to the students in younger grades. It is soooooo exciting to see a bench installed here in our adopted state of Montana! We eagerly look forward to seeing how kindness is spread.






Bench Thirteen:

Bench #13 has been donated to St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Va. as a result of many kindnesses. Though St. Catherine’s was always Kate’s rival school, particularly in sports, she had many friends there. It is the sister school to St. Christopher’s and so in one way or another, our family has often participated in their community and have many dear friends who have attended there themselves, or whose children have graduated from there. This school embodies all the elements of kindness that are so important in all aspects of a child’s education, so we are very excited to donate this thirteenth K.A.T.E bench to St. Catherine’s School.






Bench Fourteen:

Bench #14 has been donated to St. Michael’s School in Richmond, Va. as a result of a single kindness in memory of a wonderful Richmond doctor who was known for his kind acts. In addition, the St. Michael's headmaster retired in 2015 after 47 years of leadership with the school. In order to honor his retirement and his years of service, the school held a “47 Acts of Kindness” campaign with their students. Students were encouraged to perform 47 acts of kindness and share what those acts were. These acts were posted throughout the School as a tribute to their beloved headmaster. It is very obvious that St Michaels is a school where kindness is a priority! We are thrilled to be donating this bench #14 as physical reminder to “be kind”.






Bench Fifteen:

Bench # 15 has been donated to Peter Paul Development Center in Richmond, Va. as a result of many kindnesses. Local East End resident, parent, and activist, John Coleman, founded the Peter Paul Development Center in 1979. When the Center first opened its doors, it was housed in St. Peters Episcopal Church at the corner of X and 22nd streets. This struggling neighborhood in the heart of the East End faced below average income levels and high crime and drug use rates, and Coleman wanted to provide a safe program for the area youth. With a heart for the neighborhood, his goal was to support and rebuild the community by strengthening its families. Seniors and youth would come to receive help with homework, financial assistance, and participate in recreational activities. I had the privilege of knowing John when I taught at Collegiate over 38 years ago. Even now, I still remember his charisma and kindness. After he passed away, his mission did not, and in fact, it has grown significantly over the years and now has 4 satellite schools. The Boxwood Garden club has recently donated their time and resources to building a new playground at Peter Paul, and we are so excited to be a part of this by having a bench placed there. What a great blessing to us to see such a wonderful place receive the 15th K.A.T.E. bench.






Bench Sixteen:

Bench #16 has been donated to The Anna Julia Cooper School in Richmond, Va. as a result of many kindnesses. Anna Julia Cooper School is an independent, faith-based school providing full-tuition scholarships to 4th – 8th grade students of limited economic resources primarily from Richmond’s East End. Through a program focused on the whole child, they help empower students and graduates to change the trajectory of their lives and setting their sights on success in high school, college, and serving their communities. Bill and I had the privilege of meeting Mike Maruca, the headmaster, and getting a tour of this school. We were amazed at all the positive things taking place at Anna Julia. There are an impressive number of former students currently enrolled in high school, who return each afternoon to complete homework and mentor the younger students. This school is a safe haven for students and a promoter of kindness. What a great place for bench #16.






Bench Seventeen:

Bench # 17 has been donated to The Orchard House School in Richmond, Va. as a result of a single kindness. Orchard House School educates and inspires middle school girls in a responsive, academically engaging community that fosters each girl's intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, emotional integrity, and physical well-being. We were able to meet Laura Haskins, the head of school, and get a tour of this great environment where we found creativity, energy, and the love of kindness in abundance. They have decided to place their bench in a contemplative garden where each girl will be able to find a quite place for reflection. We are incredibly excited to be placing our 17th K.A.T.E.bench at the Orchard House School.






Bench Eighteen:

Bench #18 has been donated to Parkview Elementary in Dillon, Mt. as a result of many kindnesses. Dillon is more-or-less our home away from home, as it is where we go for all our Montana necessities. Consequently, we have come to know many of the residents of this small community. One of their former teachers, our neighbor, has kindly spearheaded this project of kindness and we are quite excited to see what is going to happen. I have no doubt that kindness will be in full bloom once the “most brutal winter in decades” ends and the snow melts!! We are thrilled to be donating this 18th bench to Parkview Elementary.






Bench Nineteen:

Bench #19 has been donated to Harding Elementary in Blacksburg,Va. as a result of many kindnesses, and the willingness of the APO Service Fraternity to volunteer their time to do a “kindness week” at this school. Rasha Aridi, the daughter of Faissil Aridi of Westwood Fountain, has spearheaded this endeavor and gotten her team so excited about spreading kindness in this school. APO Service Fraternity met with the principal and will be visiting each grade and creating kindness projects with students in the month of April. This is the perfect model for what kindness4kate is about - students mentoring to students and helping them see the value of kind acts. Thank you APO and Rasha for showing us kindness does matter and makes a huge difference!!!






Bench Twenty:

Bench #20 has been donated to Mary Munford Elementary in Richmond, Va. as a result of many kindnesses. We are excited to be placing a bench there, because the idea to do a kindness/buddy bench was given to me by on of Mary Munford’s long time teachers, Michele Via. And who knows better the importance of spreading kindness as a way to combat bullying better than a teacher. We are very excited to be placing this bench #20 at a school where kindness is taught and is shown by example.






Bench Twenty One:

Bench #21 has been donated to Mitchell Elementary in Charleston, South Carolina as a result of many kindnesses. What makes this bench particularly special is that the son of a friend of mine, Carson Hogge, volunteers there after school, and he actually spearheaded the entire process. He contacted the principal and he got student volunteers to help in putting it together. This was truly an example of kindness in action. So we are so excited to see bench #21 go to a school that works together to promote kindness.






Bench Twenty Two:

Bench #22 has been donated because of a single kindness to the Two Moose Camp in Glen, Montana. Two Moose camp is a place where colleges from around the country come to learn leadership qualities, so that they can become mentors in their communities. We have had the privilege of attending some of these camp meetings, and they have been truly inspirational. It gives us hope that the next generation is well grounded and will do much to promote kindness in the world.






Bench Twenty Three:

Bench #23 has been donated because several members of the class of 1968 at Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. wanted to do a kindness to honor the memory of “Flip” Morrisette, the son of Phil {Class of 1968} and Patsy Morrisette. Flip was an outstanding and kind young man and a member of the Track Team, thus this bench will be placed there to remind everyone that kindness matters and does make a huge difference.






Bench Twenty Four:

Bench #25 has been donated to Durham Academy in Durham, N.C. because of a single kindness. The family donating this kindness wanted to honor their grandchildren at the school, and to help see that kindness is promoted. I had a wonderful talk with the Lower School Principal and she was so excited about the bench and eager to see that kindness is a continued priority in the school. Nothing is better than to see teachers and administrators do all they can to promote kindness.






Bench Twenty Five:

Bench #25 has been donated to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Louisa, Va. because of many kindnesses. I came to know about this school because of an article given to me by a friend. The superintendent of all Louisa County Schools had decided he wanted to combat bullying. His first year, he focused on “not bullying”, but he found that focusing on a “negative” did little to stop the actual bullying. He then decided to focus on kindness, and quickly discovered that things changed. Kids could not bully and be kind at the same time. He found the solution! So we are soooo excited to give this bench to Thomas Jefferson Elementary and commend Doug Straley for all he is doing to promote kindness in his school district.






Bench Twenty Six:

Bench #26 is the second bench donated to St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Va. by a single kindness. These grandparents wanted not only to honor their grandchildren, but to have a physical reminder to “be kind”. They have been very instrumental in supporting many of the other benches donated thus far so we are very grateful that others see kindness as such a needed priority - not only in schools but around the community. And I know St. Catherine’s is thrilled to receive another bench.






Bench Twenty Seven:

Bench #27 has been donated to Glendale Elementary in Madison, Wisconsin because of many kindnesses. I learned about Glendale because of the work done by the Institute for Healthy Minds - a place dedicated to studying the mind and what makes some of us more resilient than others when faced with trauma. I had a very lengthy chat with Chad McGehee {a vital member of this team} about all that they are doing throughout the schools in Madison - Glendale being one of them. I was so excited to learn about their research and ways kindness and mindfulness are being used to help these young children deal with the many tough issues they face. I can think of no more exciting place to see a bench be placed than Glendale Elementary - hats off to all they are doing!






Bench Twenty Eight:

Bench #28 is being donated to the Charles City Public Library as a result of many kindnesses. It will be placed at the front door as a reminder to all who pass by or enter the library, that kindness matters and makes a difference. We have found that just by seeing this reminder to “be kind” every day, that our mindset can be changed - and perhaps then be the trigger needed to go out and do an act of kindness that day.






Bench Twenty Nine:

Bench #29 is being donated to The Norton School in Cheshire, CT as a result of many kindnesses from that community. Recently a young life passed on and this community wanted to rally together to honor this young child. The inscription on the bench says it all. “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.” May we all remember that there is no kindness too small - each one makes a difference!






Bench Thirty:

Bench #30 is the 2nd bench being donated by many kindnesses from this community in Cheshire, Connecticut in order to honor the memory of this young life. This one is going to the town park. There it will serve as a reminder to every person visiting, of the importance of being kind. It will be a place where friends can sit and connect with each other. What a great gift to soooo many! And what a beautiful way to honor the memory of a precious life.






Bench Thirty One:

Bench #31 has been donated by many kindnesses to the Kindness Counts nonprofit in Cedar City, Utah. Mari Hobson, the founder, has gathered all the schools in her community, and yearly they compete for the most number of acts of kindness. The school that has the largest participation receives a grant that supports that particular school. Also individual students and teachers are given awards at the end of the year highlighting their acts of kindness. This bench is, therefore, going to travel. It will be placed each year at the deserving school as a physical reminder of the importance of kindness. It has been so exciting to talk with her and see what she has done to get the entire community involved in kindness!