COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – While it is just one bench in a park next to a tree, it aims to be so much more.
Thanks to an international organization of professional women, communities throughout the country have these PoSITivity Benches, and now Columbus has its own.
“The Links is a national, really, international service organization and we specialize in friendship and service to our communities,” said Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham, a member of the Links Columbus chapter.
The Columbus chapter of The Links Incorporated carries on the organization’s mission to uplift communities of African descent.
On Wednesday, a few members gathered without much pomp and circumstance all in the name of The PoSITivity Bench at Mayme Moore Park at the King Arts Complex.
“It’s literally a bench where people can come and sit and think and try to become grounded in something positive,” Hicks-Graham said. “These days, we know, with the stress of the pandemic, with social justice unrest, that there’s a lot on people’s minds and really we just wanted this to be a place where people can come and seek rest.”
“We have a community garden here that we started because we want to do what we can to help connect our community to positivity, so the bench is another manifestation of that same thing,” said Demetries Neely with the King Arts Complex. “So we’re excited about it because our kids need all types of objects that tell them that they can be great, that life is good, that they don’t have to be in a negative space.”
It’s a small effort to encourage positive thinking and help those battling isolation to surround themselves with others.
“So many of us just need a little bit of rest and a place to rest and to be,” Hicks-Graham said.
Again, it’s just one bench, but members hope it inspires other neighborhoods to create their own safe spaces or positivity benches for people to pause and take time to focus on and discuss the positives happening in the community.