Kindness Benches

Posted in on November 18, 2019

Sam Houston High School graduate Thasunda Brown Duckett, who is now the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, is organizing a fundraising campaign to purchase kindness benches that will be installed at all 53 Arlington ISD elementary schools.

The Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation, which is named for Duckett’s parents, will fundraise to provide more than $130,000 for kindness benches at every Arlington ISD elementary school.

Duckett made the announcement Friday during her keynote speech at the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s ninth annual Inspired Women Luncheon. The campaign will run through the foundation.

The foundation will ensure that every elementary campus has a kindness bench through this effort.

“Our success in the Arlington ISD depends on an engaged community and what Thasunda and her foundation are doing with this fundraiser speaks to that,” Arlington ISD superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos said. “We are a district that promotes kindness and our elementary students will have reminders of that every time they’re on the playground. Thasunda has helped make that possible, and we’re grateful.”

The foundation began five years ago as a way for Duckett and her siblings to advance the legacy of their parents. Duckett is the founder and chair of the foundation. Its mission is to highlight extraordinary people, organizations and corporations that utilize ordinary resources to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

“The Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation is honored to further its vision of community collaboration through entities like the Arlington ISD in order to more effectively meet the needs of local children and families,” said Duckett, who graduated from Sam Houston in 1991. “We are excited to think about the extraordinary impact of lessons that may come out of the kindness benches for the students of Arlington ISD.”

The benches are intended to promote kindness and inclusion among students. The foundation’s plan is to engage local businesses, organizations and other non-profits to donate money for the cost of the benches. A $2,500 donation covers the cost of the bench, concrete pad and a donation plaque that will include the donor’s name.

The benches, made of cast iron with a thermoplastic finish, will be integrated into the new playground designs that are part of the recently passed $966 million bond.