Georgia Magazine - March 2018 - 26
COURTESY CHERYL STRATIGOS
rocks to be "big surprises for people who aren't looking
"And don't steal rocks," she says with a laugh. "You
may pull into a parking lot and see a flowerbed filled
with beautiful, flat rocks waiting to be painted, but resist
the urge to take one. Our project is about spreading
kindness and positivity, not stealing."
She says that you can find rocks
at home-improvement and landscaping-supply stores.
"Of course, you don't have to
pick up every rock you find," she
says. "After [legendary musician]
Gregg Allman died, I painted a heart
on a rock and left it on his grave at
Rose Hill Cemetery. The next day, a
stranger posted a picture of my rock
on Facebook with a message that
read: 'Left it. It's where it's meant
From left, Teresa Waite, Cheryl Stratigos and
Rachel Butler hosted a rock-painting party
at Southern Grace Creations in Macon last
COURTESY RACHAEL WHITE
living facilities, the American Legion
and other places in the community.
Today, nearly 4,300 members are associated with the Calhoun GA Rock's
"I have found the project to
More than 24,000 members are
be immensely rewarding," she says.
following the posts on the Columbus
"I love the fact that it got people
GA Rocks Facebook page.
out of their houses. I have met so
Rachael "Smiley" White co-founded
"Our Kindness Rocks Project was
many people who share my vision
Columbus GA Rocks.
sponsored last year by SPARK Art, a
of spreading joy and kindness each
nonprofit organization that endorses
and every day, and I am proud that I helped promote an and initiates activities that ignite the community's pasactivity that brings the community and families together.
sion for art," says Rachael "Smiley" White, co-founder of
And it all started with a rock."
both SPARK Art and the Columbus GA Rocks project.
"People of all ages, races, genders, occupations and religions have embraced it. Art is for everyone."
The rocks have become public works of art for all of
When Cheryl Stratigos of Macon started Macon
the community to enjoy, whether they are pondering the
GA Rocks last June, she talked to the local media to get
messages or appreciating the designs.
the word out about the project. It now has more than
"One of our members glues a slender, spiral sea4,400 members.
shell to her rock creations and paints them to look like
Stratigos believes the project is more fun if some of
unicorns," she says. "Another paints her rocks to look
the rocks are hidden without clues. This allows a few
like books, and they are really intricate and interesting.
Finding a painted rock is a happy experience. Finding a masterpiece can be the
best thing that happens during the week."
* Be kind to the environment. The Kindness Rocks Project adheres to the
White says the project has encourguidelines of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and encourages
aged people to use their imaginations
participants to place rocks responsibly. Never leave Kindness Rocks in national
and creativity to promote random acts of
or state parks, or in businesses or on private property
without prior permission. Visit lnt.org to learn more
"The project isn't just about havabout Leave No Trace guidelines and principles.
ing fun painting rocks," she says. "It
* Check out some rocks. For inspiration and informareminds us that we are all connected
tion on how to start your own Kindness Rocks project,
as humans-we are all in this togethIS T
that, at the end of the day,
M / SDOMINICK
* Let us hear from you! Please share photos of the interestwe really do care about one another."
ing rocks you've painted or found on Facebook at facebook.com/georgiamagazine.
Amber Lanier Nagle is a freelance
writer in Adairsville.
It's not just about
Rockin' best practices
ISTOCK.COM / EKATERINA79
Words to the kind ...
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