ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Ayden Claire is a 10-year-old of few words but that's okay because her actions speak volumes.
"I became interested in the idea," said Claire.
Claire initiated a project of her own volition to raise hundreds of dollars to buy not one but three 'Buddy Benches' for Airport Road Intermediate School in Coosada. Claire came up with the idea a few weeks ago, just wanting to show kindness.
"I really wasn't surprised because of who Ayden is. She came with a plan and a purpose," said Airport Road Intermediate School Principal Marcia Stephens.
With a self-imposed assignment of selling t-shirts, Claire's goal was to sell enough to buy not one but three 'buddy benches.' It didn't take long for Ayden Claire to turn the corner with her project. The benches should arrive before the end of school in a few weeks.
"Probably put one here," said Claire, meaning her own school.
The 'Buddy Benches' will serve as meeting points so fellow students won't feel alone or isolated. They're made of steel and will be placed on the school's playground in the next few weeks.
"You think about students who don't have anybody to play with on the playground, so we're going to reach out to those students," said Stephens.
Other students were so impressed and inspired by Claire's actions they have taken it upon themselves to raise money on their own to purchase even more 'Buddy Benches.'
"I think it's really kind," said fellow student Madison Palmore.
Palmore found Claire's project so inspiring that she and along with Anna Covan decided to raise money on their own and purchase an additional two or three 'buddy benches,' making it a total of at least five.
"Some people at PE who don't have someone to play with and you can sit with somebody," said Palmore.
"I think it's really inspiring," said Covan.
Choosing to be kind has paid off more than Ayden Claire could ever imagine. The fifth-grader has learned her lesson well on the playground of life.
Ayden Claire sold around 250 shirts at $10 a shirt. Claire initially got the idea after seeing a 'buddy bench' during a family Easter trip to Tuscaloosa.
If you're interested in helping Claire continue her t-shirt drive to more 'buddy benches,' you can get more information here. People interested can also message Kelly Kelley on Facebook.