DETROIT (WWJ) – After a long, hard day, sometimes you just need to sit down. But Charles Molnar noticed that is something many bus riders in Detroit aren’t able to do.
So just over a year ago, Molnar and a few friends got together and started Sit On It Detroit to build benches for the city’s bus stops out of reclaimed wood from abandoned houses and businesses.
“People were waiting, long waits, standing up,” Molnar told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “And we wanted to give them a place to sit down and relax.”
In particular, Molnar said he was appalled to see nurses getting off their shifts at the Henry Ford Hospital and sitting cross-legged on the ground while waiting for a ride home.
Molnar said he doesn’t consider himself an artist. He learned how to work with wood in high school and figured it would be a pretty simple thing to build a bench. They started with just $50 and with donations, including a workshop space on Lafayette, the project got underway.
Over the past year, Molnar estimates, they’ve had about 600 volunteers helping to build the benches. They use wood reclaimed from vacant, dilapidated homes.
“The wood we get comes with nails and all sorts of stuff,” said Molnar. “So we have to sit there and remove all the nails, all the screws.”
The benches come with a shelf under the seat that’s full of donated books. Their website notes that the network of benches will act as a free library.
“We put little libraries in them, so people have a place to sit, and something to read while waiting for the bus,” said Molnar. [CHECK IT OUT]
There are now dozens of benches at bus stops in Detroit, thanks to Sit On It Detroit. And what started as a charity has now become a business as well. Molnar’s group rents out benches for specials events and things like parties and barbeques. He also makes benches and other furniture for special order.
“Doing something for somebody to put a smile on their face and just to make their life a little bit more enjoyable definitely makes me happy,” said Molnar. “And that’s the reason that we do it.”
You can find more information about Sit On It Detroit on their Facebook page.