May 2020 update

Dear Friends of Bennett’s Village,

I hope this update finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. It has been a few months since you’ve heard from us. This is in part because of how our world has been affected by the COVID-19– which has been challenging and sometimes overwhelming – and partly because there has been so much happening with Bennett’s Village – which has been incredibly positive! Let me share some of the highlights…

 1)      Because of the tremendous support from you and others, we have nearly completed the initial designs for Bennett’s Village at Pen Park! In honor of Bennett’s birthday on May 12th, we’d even planned an event to showcase the design (which is being reviewed by the City of Charlottesville RIGHT NOW), but chose to postpone until we could responsibly gather in celebration. 

2)      Bennett’s Village is now working with Allison Scholl from Acorn Group to grow community awareness and support. In fact, if you filled out a volunteer form you may be hearing from her soon as she is rallying the troops as we engage in phase three of our master plan to build Bennett’s Village at Pen Park. 

3)      We are going to get back in the swing of sending monthly updates, so please let me know if you DON’T want to receive them and I’ll take you off of our mailing list. Also, if you haven’t “liked” us on Facebook or Instagram, please do. Social media is one of the most effective ways for you to keep up with what’s going on and how you can help.

4)      Bennett’s birthday is today–this is always a complicated time–so many good memories, but also incredible grief at the loss of our sweet boy.  We are doing things to celebrate.

First, Bennett loved rocks–all shapes, sizes, colors.  And he loved sparkly things–that lit up the world like his smile.  In celebration of what would have been Bennett’s 8th birthday, we invite you to paint rocks with us–to keep for yourself, place out in a public space with an encouraging message, or make for an essential worker who is helping keep us safe in medical facilities and nursing homes or providing us with access to food and medicine.  Take a picture and send it back our way so we can see all the love being spread in our community.

Second, we are trying to raise $8,888 dollars in his honor for Bennett’s Village.  Now through the end of the month, give any amount with an 8 in it.  You can write a check, donate online through GoFundMe, or use Venmo.  See for more details.

I don’t know when we will get back to a world where our public spaces are once again safe for us to gather and play. I hope it’s soon, but I expect it may take some time.  I cannot wait til we can gather again and we can show off all that you have accomplished through your support. In the meantime, we will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make Bennett’s Village a reality so that when we can return to our public outdoor spaces, we have a place where ALL can play.  

Thanks for being part of our team.   

Kara (Bennett’s Mom and co-founder of Bennett’s Village)