CORAL SPRINGS, FL - “Stay; tomorrow needs you.”
That powerful message is one of the many left on hidden rocks around Coral Springs.
Whether they are painted, written in permanent marker, or both, the messages are meant to spread hope and encouragement to whoever finds them. The rocks are hidden in plain sight by members of Coral Springs Rocks Facebook group, who are taking part in the Kindness Rocks Project.
The national project started in Cape Cod, Mass. by creator Megan Murphy, who wanted to spread kindness and inspiration. With people and groups taking part in the project all over the United States, members of the Coral Springs community and the greater Broward County area paint rocks, either in groups or separately, with encouraging and uplifting messages. Then they place the rocks in various spots around the city, to be found by those who need to see the messages of hope.
“The [Kindness Project] saying is ‘One message at just the right time can change your entire day… outlook… life,’” said Coral Springs resident Julie Conroy, who has painted and hidden countless Kindness Rocks around the city. “It really is true. When you find the rock, or the right rock finds the right person, it changes people’s day.”
Conroy has been painting and giving out Kindness Rocks in the city for the past year and a half. Her inspiration for what to write on the rocks comes from various sources including the social media website Pinterest, looking up encouraging quotes online, or even the words and phrases she hears in the community.
“‘Stay; tomorrow needs you.’ That has become one of my rocks that I'm painting a lot right now because a lot of people need to see that message,” Conroy said. “I've been putting it in a lot of places and it disappears right after the right person sees it.”
The Kindness Rocks can be left almost anywhere, according to Conroy -- bus stops, outside of restaurants, hospitals, crossing signals -- but she’s careful to make sure it’s not where someone could trip over it, or landscapers could run over it.
A favorite spot for many Kindness Rocks creators in the community is the “Project Grow Love” garden at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
For those looking to get involved in the Kindness Rocks Project, it’s easy, Conroy said. All you need are some smooth stones, a permanent marker, maybe some paint, and a kind word to share.
“The more you do it, the easier it becomes,” she said. “It just feels good to help people. If everyone helps just one person, everyone would get helped.”
- A bag of river stones, white work best, from any home project supply store
- Acrylic paint - the outdoor variety lasts the longest
- A clear sealant for when the paint dries
- Permanent markers and/or paint brushes