FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Sammie Vance, the founder of the Buddy Bench, has written a book about her journey to make a difference.
“When I was in third grade I decided to do the buddy bench project for my school,” Vance said. “I realized there are so many people who are lonely, and I’ve been lonely myself. It’s not a good feeling.”
With the support of the family and friends as well as recycled caps and lids from the community, the Buddy Bench was born. Originally the bench took 400 pounds of caps for a six-foot bench. Now, Vance says the benches only require 200 pounds.
“We got the whole community involved, and that’s why it’s different than just getting a metal bench,” Vance said.
While doing the project, she thought it would be fun to write a book but decided against it because she was afraid it would take too much time away from her work on Buddy Bench projects. Her family was also wary because they had no experience in the publishing industry. However, once the Buddy Bench project was complete, other people suggested that she write a book about her experience. She even had an illustrator Talitha Shipman reached out to Vance and offered to do the illustrations for her book – if she decided to write one.
With encouragement from the community, family, and friends, Vance decided to make it happen. She started writing the book titled, “Inspire the World: A Kid’s Journey to Making a Difference,” about her journey making Buddy Benches. She also discusses how her readers can make a difference. Once it is published, she hopes the book will inspire others to go inspire the world.
“I want people to know that, really, anything is possible. You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference – you can be a kid too,” Vance said.
The book is set to be published in the fall.