Designer Makes 21 Beautiful Benches in Honour of the 21 Uvalde Shooting Victims

Nearly four months ago 19 students and 2 teachers were gunned down by a lone shooter in Uvalde, Texas. We all remember this happening – seeing the heartbroken families, the innocent images of the children killed, and the heroic stories that came out of this senseless violent act. 

For the families of the Uvalde shooting victims, this is something they most likely relive every single day. This sadness, grief, and loss are part of their world now, day in and day out. 

Uvalde shooting victims remembered 

A businessman in Eastman, Georgia has come up with a way to keep the spirits of these victims alive and provide them with the wings they deserve – through beautiful hand-crafted benches. 

Uvalde shooting benches
Sean and his team worked for weeks to create 21 benches. Source: Instagram


Sean Peacock is a graphic art designer specialising in wooden signs and metalwork. His company is called Jass Graphix  and one of his popular items is the Butterfly Bench – customised benches for those mourning the loss of a loved one. 

She had loved butterflies

In May, he received a request from a woman named April Elrod. She wanted a bench made up for her daughter, Makenna who had recently passed away. Mackenna loved butterflies and had recently been laid to rest in a dress covered in butterflies. 

When we go visit her at the cemetery, there’s always butterflies around,” the mother said in an interview. “We’ve had butterflies in our cars and our houses, everywhere we go.”

April had begun creating a butterfly garden in her yard and when she saw the bench she thought it would be perfect.

I saw that butterfly bench and I thought that would be perfect [for the garden], somewhere to go sit and think about Makenna and talk to her,” she said.

Uvalde shooting benches
Makenna Lee Elrod Seile and Irma Linda Garcia with husband Joe. Source: Instagram

April didn’t share the details of what had happened to Mackenna. Just that she loved butterflies. However, Sean Googled the daughter’s name and he realised she was one of the victims of the Uvalde shooting. 

When I discovered that, that was the beginning of it all,” Sean said. 

21 benches to remember 21 lives lost too soon

Sean then shared the bench and the story behind it with his family and friends on social media. Donations came rolling in immediately from those who wanted to help pay for the bench which retails for $1,800. 

Sean then started a GoFundMe page, hoping that he would be able to raise enough funds to craft 20 more benches, dedicated to each person that lost their life in Uvalde. Within 48 hours, Sean had reached his goal. 

Uvalde victims customised benches
Xavier James Lopez and Tess Marie Mata. Source: Instagram

On the day of Makenna’s funeral, I texted the mother and revealed to her what I did. I told her, ‘Your bench is paid for your precious child, and so are 20 more.’

Sean then set to work designing the rest of the benches. He spent hours messaging the families of the victims and received pictures as well as stories about each person.

With the help of a team of volunteers, Sean managed to craft 21 stunning benches, all personalised and ready to be delivered to the families. 

mum central
Maranda Mathis and Jailah Nicole Silguero. Source: Instagram

It’s taken nearly four months to complete the project – 21 beautiful hand-crafted benches  – but these are something that the Uvalde shooting families will cherish forever. It’s commitment and generosity like this that prove that there is light in this dark world.

We recently also shared another story about a custom casket designer who, thanks to the help of his community, designed and delivered personalised caskets for the Uvalde victims. You can read it here. 

custom caskets for Uvalde school shooting victims
Source: Instagram

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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