NEWBERRY — Kindness Rocks became a popular trend last summer. Many rocks have been hidden and found all around various communities and other states.
The Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, along with the help of Newberry Academy students, are working together to fill communities with Kindness Rocks and spreading positivity and happiness.
Kristy Berley, training coordinator at the NCDSNB, said the decision to involve their clients in the Kindness Rock Project came after watching a video about how Megan Murphy, of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, started the project.
“She was looking for heart-shaped rocks and sea glass and she thought of it as a sign from her mom and dad sending her messages because they had passed away. One day she decided to write messages on five of the rocks and it just so happens that one of her friends found one of those rocks,” Berley said. “We stumbled upon it through Facebook and it was something that we said we would really be interested in, spreading kindness.”
Berley added that kindness is contagious and this was a perfect opportunity to spread kindness within the community and to really see what kind of an impact Kindness Rocks can make.
The clients at the NCDSNB painted the base coat of the rocks and were also shown the same video about the Kindness Rock Project to learn what it meant to paint and hide the rocks.
“We did a little bit of research on the Kindness Rock Project and the goal of the project is to inspire others through randomly placed rocks and to recruit every person that stumbles upon one to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness,” Berley said. “I feel like our community does so much for us and this is just a little way for us to spread that kindness all around Newberry County, and hopefully it will go even further than that.”
Written on the back of each rock is #NewberryDSNRocks along with the Facebook symbol to encourage those who find a rock to tag NCDSNB on their Facebook page to see how many lives have been touched through the Kindness Rock Project, and how far the rocks have gone.
Newberry Academy became involved with the NCDSNB’s Kindness Rock Project after Shelby Fulmer, choral director at Newberry Academy, reached out saying she had a group of kids that wanted to volunteer.
“When we had the Gala back in the spring they got really involved with sorting out the jewelry for us and some of them acted as escorts for some of the folks that we support who didn’t have a date to walk them down the red carpet. They have been really involved since then and they jumped right along with us,” Berley said. “Some of our folks cannot write so they can’t exactly put the messages on the rock, but once the kids from the Academy decorate the rocks, then they will put on the clear coat to keep them weather resistant.”
She added that there will be another day planned for any staff or anybody that wants to come help decorate the remainder of the rocks, which totals at around 145.
The rocks that are decorated will also be featured in the NCDSNB’s Artabilities and Open House on March 22 at the Pride Business Center from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
“We’re going to feature them (the rocks) at the Artabilities show. They won’t be for sale, but after they are shown on display we are going to take the folks out to Pomaria, Little Mountain, Whitmire, all around Newberry County to place the rocks in their own communities,” Berley said. “Every year we try to come up with something a little different during Artabilities time. Last year we featured some lighthouses that the folks in our Seniors Program and New Horizons Program at the Pride Center did so this year we decided on the Kindness Rocks. One of our values is inclusion in the community and living in a integrative community and I think that’s really important for the folks that we support and I think we’re doing a good job of getting the folks out into the community as much as possible.”
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.