Day Two, High Point Furniture Spring Market: You couldn’t miss this colorful Adirondack bench out in front of Showplace even if you tried. It would have been a shame not to stop, take a closer look, climb up, sit down and make a new friend.
Seated high up on the arm was charming 12-year-old Acacia Woodley who shared with us her dream of spreading friendship and kindness.
Acacia is a small girl with no right hand and only two fingers on her left hand, so was an easy target for the bullying she experienced as a new student at a Florida school. From this Acadia came up with an idea – The Friendship Bench.
In 2012 she started the Tiny Girl, Big Dream Foundation to help children of all ages and backgrounds spread kindness and achieve their goals. Acacia explained “children are supposed to sit on the bench when they’re being bullied or just having a bad day.” “That lets others know they need a friend to talk to.”
The Friendship Benches are kid sized to fit in schools. They are made from recycled milk bottles by C.R. Plastics, a Canadian company. Each is hand-painted with words of encouragement and positive character traits such as hope, respect, listen, dream and encourage. There are also three quotes about friendship, one on each arm and one along the front edge.
Another “lucky day” at market getting to meet Acacia with her Friendship Bench to help stop the bullying. What an inspiration she is for all of us!