ST. HENRY — Spreading love and friendship can be done in many traditional ways, such as showing affection, sending cards and writing letters.
West Central Ohio Rocks is a group of people spreading kindness and love, one rock at a time. The group is comprised of: Miami, Montgomery, Clark, Darke, Mercer, Auglaize and Shelby counties. Kristy Miller, of St. Henry, Ohio started West Central Ohio Rocks in November, 2016, after seeing it near Cleveland. She wanted to get her mother Sharon Fiely, of Maria Stein, involved, as she is disabled and it is something she could enjoy as a hobby. The group has grown quickly to 1,700 members. Anyone can join the group. They do not have to live in West Central Ohio. People have joined from New York and San Francisco. In addition, the rocks have traveled to places near and far.
“Our rocks have gone coast to coast to places like New York and Florida,” Miller said. “One was found at the Golden Gate Bridge and people are taking them on cruise ships.”
The first step to joining West Central Ohio Rocks is to sign up on the Facebook page. Find a rock, paint it including the label on the back, take a photo of the rock and post it on the Facebook page, saying the rock will be hidden. Clues are often given to the location of the rocks. The finder of the rock posts a picture of the found rock and re-hides it in another location. The process repeats itself. Some of the Facebook posts say the following: “Look who is finding more of our rocks the babysitting crew!! They found a total of four today on their daily walk around Quincy!”, “We found this Rock at Dollar General in Steubenville Ohio, This made our day so much better yesterday! After a long day at work we found this treasure while bringing in some items from the outside” and “Found by Grandma at Dynamic Federal Credit Union in Celina, Ohio. Re-hidden by this guy in Coldwater Memorial Park”.
According to Fiely, St. Henry’s is overrun with rocks, and she and Miller have have been out to Greenville City Park and to the Annie Oakley Statue hiding rocks. Some rocks are hidden in the wide open, such as the entrance to stores and parking lots. They have also painted rocks for specific occasions, such as “Relay for Life” and were asked to paint some for Dayton Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve partnered with Dayton Children’s Hospital so we make a precious child’s day, so please help us spread some happiness by painting rocks and we’ll schedule a pick up convenient for you!”, one Facebook post says.
Many of the rocks contain positive messages, have Bible verses and give positive advice, such as “Be the change you want to see”, a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.
“This really has had a huge impact on our community and beyond,” Fiely said. “It has even helped people in their darkest times, and they have thanked us for starting this. It’s just a kindness – there is so much negativiy out there and we are trying to be positive to everyone and encouraging.”
To sign up, visit West Central Ohio Rocks Facebook Page
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.