8-Year-Old Brings Buddy Benches

8-Year-Old Brings Buddy Benches To Her Elementary School And 150 Other Locations

(Fort Wayne, IN) – Sammie Vance was just eight when she heard about the Buddy Bench and vacation Bible school. She brought the idea to her mom, Heidi, and her elementary school principal.

If a child sits on a Buddy Bench, it’s a signal to others that they want someone to play with. Sammie knows what it’s like to be lonely or shy.

“…I didn’t want anyone else to feel this way. And I wanted to make sure that everyone has a friend.”

Sammie and friend on Buddy Bench
Photo Credit: Heidi Vance

Following the meeting, Sammie and her mom discovered a new bench would cost $900. The project was too expensive to pull off until it was discovered a local company could make the bench out of recycled materials for a quarter of the cost.

Sammie with bottle caps on bed
Photo Credit: Heidi Vance

Sammie started collection of plastic bottle caps and lids. These materials would go into making new Buddy Benches.

Sammie and dozens of Buddy Benches
Photo Credit: Heidi Vance

Sammie is now 12. She has helped install three benches at her school and 150 benches across the country. And has a book coming out in the fall.

Sammie Vance and her siblings on a Buddy Bench
Photo Credit: Heidi Vance


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