When children at schools in Dubuque, IA are feeling lonely or wanting someone they can talk to or a friend play with, they head for a special place on the playground: the Buddy Bench. It’s there because of the work of a special 9-year-old on a mission to change the world by building friendships and putting an end to bullying so her community can thrive.
Clare Vosberg heard about the benches and how they were used to foster kindness in children. She worked with local companies to get 35 benches installed in schools across Dubuque, Guttenberg and Galena, IL. Children are taught through their school to help others who seek refuge at the bench.
Clare’s inspiration to end bullying is her older sister Madie, who battles epilepsy. Madie’s episodic seizures at school have caused her to become bullied. Clare knew she wanted to do something to help Madie and every kid who needs a voice.
She founded Clare Cares at age 8 with her mom, step-dad and others who rallied around her goal to place a Buddy Bench on her school’s playground.
In Clare’s words, “if you are busy building friendships and making the community a better place, you’ll feel good, you’ll make others feel good and the world will be a better place.”