Giving Back

Cranford Rocks: A Cranford Resident's Act of Kindness

4138bf61f24418b7c0a5_17362728_10154326955361512_4012673021085828806_n.jpg
"Cranford Rocks" paints and hides rocks in the hope that someone will find the rock and it will lift their spirits. Credits: Cranford Rocks Facebook Group
c6072a29061499637647_17952758_10212574265931039_3266305066824525417_n.jpg
"Cranford Rocks" paints and hides rocks in the hope that someone will find the rock and it will lift their spirits. Credits: Cranford Rocks Facebook Group
4138bf61f24418b7c0a5_17362728_10154326955361512_4012673021085828806_n.jpg

CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford resident Kristen Mider has been making Cranford kinder, one rock at a time.

Mider, who moved to Cranford from Brooklyn three years ago, has been painting rocks with her children to hide around town for people to discover. She participated in “Kindness Rocks” in Brooklyn, and brought the tradition to Cranford to honor a friend who lost her son to suicide.

“Dylan was a wonderful young man,” Mider said. “He was smart and talented, but most of all kind.  His parents began something called The Kindness Challenge, a Facebook group. The idea was that they could keep Dylan's legacy of kindness alive by asking people to perform random acts of kindness.  Cranford Rocks seemed like a project that would do just that. And Cranford seemed like the kind of town that would embrace this project.”

Sign Up for E-News

Mider and her family didn’t start the project until this Februrary. Her initial batch of rocks were buried under snow and weren’t found until the snow melted.

“We receive a lot of feedback,” Mider said. “Kids love finding them and posting their finds on the page.  But, I've had adults find them too, and they also expressed how it lifted their spirits.”

To date, Mider said at least 100 rocks have been hidden in Cranford. She knows at least 10 people who have hidden rocks, and has more than 350 members in her “Cranford Rocks” Facebook group. In addition, Mider’s realtor, Sharon Steele, promoted the project on her Facebook page, “365 Cranford Westfield NJ,” which inspired a lot of new rock creators, she said.

“If we discover a rock that looks special, my kids get excited and start thinking about how they want to paint it,” Mider said. ‘Sometimes the rocks don't inspire them but life does.  For instance, if they've seen a classmate at school feeling down or being left out, they like to think of messages to leave on rocks that might lift his/her spirits. Even if that particular rock never reaches that particular child, it may reach someone who is feeling the same way.”

Mider hopes that people who discover the rocks will pay it forward and create and hide a rock for someone else to find.

She said, “Given today's sometimes divisive political climate and the often fast-paced nature of our lives, how nice is it to take some time aside to simply be kind to one another, with no other expectation than that we'll pass that kindness along?”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

2018 Cranford High School Graduation

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD - It was a beautiful day as the members of the Cranford High School Class of 2018 took their places on Memorial Field for the Graduation Ceremony on Thursday night. 

Class President Anna Kalafatis, Principal Mark Cantagallo, Superintendent Dr. Scott Rubin, Board of Education President Kurt Petschow, Jr., Salutatorian Emily Wilson, and Valedictorian Meg Cui each ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Class of 2018 Graduates at Commencement

June 24, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison held its 135th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 8 under a giant tent on the back athletic fields.

The Class of 2018 marched in, led by valedictorian and class president Suraj Chandran of Edison and vice president Cathy Bi of Edison carrying the class flag. The program began with the Star-Spangled Banner and a welcome from Dr. Bob ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...