My Buddy Bench Project


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Event Announcement

Every voice matters. Join our next event and spread Kindness with us!


April 2024

Pine Villa Welcomes Its Buddy Bench!

My Buddy Bench Project is thrilled to unveil a brand new Buddy Bench at Pine Villa Elementary! 🌟

Special thanks to Pine Villa Elementary and our wonderful sponsor, Hollywood Kia, for their heartfelt support! 🤝

Join us for a joyful event where children will witness the power of kindness and community. 🌈

🗓 April 19th, 2024 ⏰ 9:00 A.M.
📍 Pine Villa Elementary School,
21799 SW 117th Ct, Miami, FL 33170

Let’s come together to spread kindness and build bridges of friendship on this special day! 🌼

Press Release My Buddy Bench Project & Pine Villa Elementary School


February 2024

City Of Miami

My Buddy Bench Project & City of Miami Bullying Prevention

Exciting news! 🎉 My Buddy Bench Project is unveiling a new Buddy Bench during the Coconut Grove 60th Arts Festival at Peacock Park 🤩.

Thanks to the City of Miami for their genuine support! 🤝 Join us for a collaborative art installation with local kids and artist DJ Chery 🎨.

🗓 Feb 12th, 2024
⏰ 4:00 P.M.
📍 Peacock Park in Coconut Grove
2820 McFarlane Rd, Miami, FL

Let’s spread kindness and celebrate community together! 🌈

Press Release My Buddy Bench Project & City of Miami



January 2024

Yoga & Wine Night

Immerse yourself in a peaceful FREE yoga session guided by expert instructors, followed by a delightful wine tasting experience with @onehope . Special thanks to TLC Holistics for supporting My Buddy Bench Project 💙!

📆 Thursday, Jan 25th
⏰ 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
📍 @venturexpb 9555 Southwest 175th Terrace Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

Donations accepted. 
Please Bring your yoga mat and get ready to enjoy a blissful experience 😉


November 2023

Be Part of #GivingTuesday 2023!

Be Part of #GivingTuesday 2023!

After Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, join the global generosity movement on #GivingTuesday. Support the My Buddy Bench Project Foundation as we work to promote kindness and empathy among children in schools and public spaces through “Buddy Benches”.

Save the Date for November 28th or donate early at


November 2023

Save the date for Give Miami Day 2023

Be part of the year’s most thrilling giving event in South Florida! Support the My Buddy Bench Project Foundation by making early donations from November 13th to 15th, leading up to the official kickoff of Give Miami Day at 12:01 a.m. on November 16th


August 2023


My Buddy Bench Project is Volunteering at the Annual D9 Book Bag Drive

This event, created by School Board Member Luisa Santos and the District 9 Office, is aimed at providing students with book bags, school supplies, and food.



June 2023


MBBP first Buddy Bench Reveal

“Be a Buddy. Not a Bully”: My Buddy Bench Project, a non-profit started by a 13-year-old and her mom, have their first Buddy Bench reveal at a local elementary school in Dade County. Miami, Florida- The My Buddy Bench Project is proud to announce the highly an^cipated reveal of the first Buddy Bench at Dr. Henry E. Perrine Academy of the Arts, an elementary school in PalmeDo Bay, Miami, Florida. The event will take place on Tuesday, June 6th, at 10:00 AM, in the school’s cafeteria located at 8851 SW 168 Street, PalmeDo Bay, FL 33157. The Buddy Bench serves as a symbol of kindness, compassion, and inclusivity, offering a safe space for children who may feel lonely or excluded.

This milestone event signifies a transformative journey inspired by a personal story of resilience and hope. “My daughter’s personal story of being bullied in this same elementary and now being able to offer a helpful tool to kids & teachers, makes this a full circle story from tears to joy. We believe that through the Buddy Bench, we can create an environment where children choose to be buddies, not bullies,” said Mary and Victoria Portela, Founders of the My Buddy Bench Project.

For further information about the Buddy Bench foundation, please visit the Buddy Bench website: https://

The reveal event will feature key individuals who have supported the initiative, including:
Main Sponsor Panter, Panter & Sampedro, PA: Panter, Panter & Sampedro is a leading personal injury law firm that generously sponsored the My Buddy Bench Project afer hearing about Victoria’s story and the goals she has for her non-profit. Mitch Panter, representing the firm, recognizes the importance of creating safe and supportive environments for children.

PTA President Kelley Augi: Kelley Augi has been instrumental in the realization of the Buddy Bench installation at Dr. Henry E. Perrine Academy of the Arts. Her dedication and commitment to fostering a positive school environment have been invaluable. Email: [email protected]

School Counselor William Rehkamp: William Rehkamp, the school’s Guidance Counselor, has been actively involved in promoting kindness, empathy, and social-emotional well-being among students. His efforts align perfectly with the mission of the My Buddy Bench Project.

Principal Barbara Leveille-Brown: Principal Barbara Leveille-Brown’s leadership and vision have played a significant role in embracing the My Buddy Bench Project initiative and cultivating a culture of inclusivity within the school community. Website:

Support Mayor Karyn Cunningham: Mayor Karyn Cunningham of Palmetto Bay has extended her support to the My Buddy Bench Project initiative from day one, emphasizing the significance of fostering kindness and inclusivity among youth. Website:

The event will be a joyous celebration filled with heartfelt speeches, inspiring stories, and interactive activities centered around the theme “Be a Buddy. Not a Bully.” Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the Buddy Bench reveal firsthand and learn more about the My Buddy Bench Project’s mission and resources.

“We invite parents, educators, community members, and the media to join us in this remarkable occasion. Together, let’s cultivate a community where every child feels seen, heard, and valued. Be a buddy, not a bully,” added [Beverley Harris-Alvarez].

For further information about the Buddy Bench reveals event, please contact the My Buddy Bench Project at [email protected] or visit our website at

Media Contact:
Mary Portela – 786-246-8626



April 2023


Doing Good Together

My Buddy Bench Project will be volunteering April 12th, 2023 with Doing Good Together at our local Elementary School!


Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions will enable us to make real changes.
Every little bit counts!


August 2022

MBBP Co-Funder Victoria Portela was invited by Mayor Cunningham to School Backpack event

My Buddy Bench Project Co-Funder Victoria Portela was invited by Mayor Cunningham to participate in the start of school Backpack giveaway. And to meet the new Principal Barbara Leveille-Brown and former Guidance Counselor William Rehkamp. Who we credit with helping Victoria through those difficult times back in elementary school.


August 2022


1st Government official meeting - Victoria discusses

My Buddy Bench Project was well received by the first Government Official Mayor Cunningham. The Mayor showed great interest in getting the word out to the local schools and community.


June 2022

Huge step - Our First official email on Buddy Bench Project to a school official - Very Promising

Response was “This is a great idea! Yes, we would love to be involved. ” by Bill Rehkamp, LMHC

Joining the Waiting List

Thank you for your interest in the My Buddy Bench Project. We are thrilled to see your enthusiasm for fostering kindness and inclusivity in our communities. Please note that due to high demand and limited resources, new applicants will be assigned to a waiting list to participate in our program. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work diligently to accommodate all interested parties.

Rest assured, your commitment to creating a kinder future for our children is invaluable, and we are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young learners and promote a culture of empathy and friendship.

Thank you for your continued support.
My Buddy Bench Project.