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Ocean Hero of the Week: Sammie Vance

Shore Buddies Ocean Hero of the Week: Sammie Vance

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Hi All!

Stephen Seagull here, and I’m back with what I like to call Stephen’s Interview Corner! I’ve decided to fly high and start an Ocean Hero of the Week! To kickoff this FINNtastic program, I would be so honored to introduce you all to Sammie Vance. Sammie is an amazing little girl that wanted to stop kids from being lonely at recess. She created a comic strip explaining how these benches would help save my home as well as keep children from feeling lonely. 400lbs of plastic caps later, Sammie’s Buddy Bench was here to stay!

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  1. Hello, I’m Stephen Seagull, and I’m from the beach! What’s your name and where are you from?

Sammie Vance from Fort Wayne, IN.

    2.  How long have you been passionate about Ocean Protection?

I care very much for animals and the ocean. For a few years now. I am 10.

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    3.  Ocean Protection is a pretty big deal to me and my friends since we live at the ocean. What event happened in your life that made you want to pursue Ocean Protection?

It was a result of wanting to get buddy benches for my school so no one would be lonely. I decided to get the bench made out of recycled plastic caps and lids made by a company in southern Indiana. It was a great way to recycle and involve the community and best yet, keep the plastic out of the ocean!

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    4.  What specific cause are you a part of/did you create? Tell us about what it accomplishes.

Sammie's Buddy Bench project.  I collected 1,200 lbs of recycled plastic caps and lids in order to get 3 Buddy benches made for my school. Since then I have helped spread the word about buddy benches and helped other schools get them too. I love that the plastic can be used to make something so great to help prevent loneliness.  It accomplishes helping others and our planet all in one!! You can find out more at I am so excited that I am able to inspire others.

     5.   I know I’ve been flying around longer than you (we don’t have to give actual numbers of how old I am) but what do you believe is the state of our oceans today versus when you started pursuing ocean protection?

It gets worse all the time! It makes me sad seeing pictures of animals with plastic choking them. I believe doing what I am doing helps with the pollution of plastic.

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     6.  What tip do you have for everyone to help keep plastics out of the ocean?

Recycle and even better yet, reuse! Think of how many buddy benches we could have made out of recycled plastic caps and lids if everyone did this!

     7.   It’s been so great interviewing with you. I have one last question for you. What would you tell someone who is struggling to stand up for a cause they are passionate about?

You don't have to be an adult to make a difference, Kids can too! If you can dream it, you can do it.

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For more information about Sammie and her Buddy Bench Project, visit

Do you know someone who should be featured as a Shore Buddies Ocean Hero? We would love to hear from you. Please email us at who, why and how we can get in contact.