Posted by Joan Kelly Arsenault on Aug 25, 2023
RI President Gordon McInally has stated that mental health projects are deeply personal to him and has asked all to prioritize mental health projects in their district this year. Given this directive, DG Lori is launching a "Buddy Bench/Happy to Chat Bench" District wide grant opportunity that will help decrease loneliness and supports well-being in children and adults.

A buddy bench or friendship bench is a seat in a school playground or area where a child can go when they want someone to talk to.  "Happy to Chat" benches encourage people to start conversations and talk to each other, rather than being isolated and sometimes lonely.
If your club is interested in this District Managed Grant, email Joan Kelly Arsenault.
The cost of a bench is around $1000 ($500 from the club and $500 from DDF). DG Lori has committed $10,000 in DDF monies (foundation grant monies) to be matched by clubs who wish to participate. There will be 20 benches availalbe in the district and once the process is open, clubs can apply for one bench per club, on a first come first serve basis.

Stay tuned for when this grant opportunity opens so you can be a part of this amazing project.  (FYI: you can apply for a District Managed grant for your club even if you participate in this district project)