‘Cool, kind’ benches bring upbeat messages

Sitting Pretty

Heidi Powell, pictured above, and her team delivered one of the 10 benches to Barker Street playground in Fredonia.
Another bench was delivered to Welch Field playground in Westfield by AJ and Laura Burnside.
Pictured with a bench that was delivered to Russell Joy Park in Fredonia is Carmen Sebzda and her team of little helpers.
Vicki Lee Lundsten and a very happy furry friend installed a bench at the Lakewood Dog Park in Lakewood!

Last month, Partners in Kind celebrated “It’s Cool to Be Kind Day” by installing 10 colorfully painted wooden benches throughout communities in Chautauqua County. “It’s Cool to Be Kind Day” is a yearly event Partners In Kind celebrates in order to encourage and celebrate kindness through various activities and random acts of kindness.

The benches were built by Partners In Kind member Andrew Burnside and designed, painted, and delivered by various groups of people within the organization. Longtime supporters and members from Elevation Combat Sports Academy graciously dedicated their space for bench painting and storage. The designs each included messages of kindness and encouragement. The purpose of the May service project was to improve the community one park at a time (dog parks, splash pads, playgrounds, ball fields, and boat docks) and to provide functional and beautiful reminders of hope for people that there is still kindness and good in the world. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of all ages to contribute their talents and create a lasting impact on their community.

The project was funded by a Community Pride Grant for $1,500, received from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, which is an organization committed to improving the northern Chautauqua area. Committee leader Larry Fiorella was instrumental in obtaining the grant and organizing Partners In Kind members for a successful execution. Organizing committee members for this project included: Andrew Burnside, Laura Burnside, Marcella Dolce, Carmen Sebzda. The hope of Partners In Kind is that anyone who visits these parks and locations will sit on a bench, smile at the message, and be inspired to make the world a better place.

Partners in Kind was founded in 2016 by Fredonia resident Melissa Pietrkiewicz. The mission is to facilitate charitable efforts and promote acts of kindness in our community. Through service and connection, we are striving to make Chautauqua County whole again.

To learn more, e-mail Melissa@partnersinkindchq.org or visit Partners in Kind Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PartnersinKind1215. The community is invited to support the PIK through the NCCF website www.nccfoundation.org/partners-in-kind. All donations are tax deductible.