Kindness Rocks at the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness Center in Indianapolis
When Debbie Reeder, transportation supervisor at the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness Center in Indianapolis, visited her doctor's office, she saw a small painted rock on a table in the waiting room. It had a smile on it. Curious, she picked it up and found the hashtag #kindnessrockproject on the rock's underside.
When she told her co-worker Carrie Wilcher, CTRS, the center's recreational therapist, about it, Wilcher went online to learn more. What she found sparked the idea for a great project for her PACE center participants.
"The Kindness Rock Project was started to spread inspiration and kindness to random strangers," she said. "Our participants thought it was an amazing way for them to do something nice in our community."
As it turns out, there are several Twitter and Facebooks accounts devoted to this project. Individuals decorate rocks, put them in random places in their area, and others who find the rocks take photos of them and post them on a social media site.
Wilcher and her colleagues started working with center participants, most of whom are older and have physical or memory limitations, bringing in rocks and setting up the tables for painting.
"Painting the rocks is an activity all of our participants can do. A few may need more help, but all of them can paint if they want," said Wilcher. Even those with limited physical abilities can paint the rocks a solid color, and staff members then write inspirational phrases in marker over the paint.
Wilcher takes the rocks and places them in the surrounding area and then monitors social media for "sightings."
"Some of our rocks have been found and posted and the participants are delighted when they see their rocks posted," she said.
In addition to the Twitter accounts, Facebook pages that carry rock postings include Greenwood Painted Rocks, Painted Rocks, The Kindness Rocks of Johnson County, Franklin Township Rocks, and Indy Rocks.