‘It gets families together’: group of volunteers spreading kindness one rock at a time in N.B.

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There’s a kindness trend that’s been spreading across the country in the last few years. People are painting messages of hope and inspiration on rocks and hiding them for others to find.

“In a world of a lot of negativity on social media it is really nice to see something that is positive and kind,” said Fonda French, the creator of the Facebook group Fredericton Rocks.

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French and her group of volunteers started painting kindness rocks with inspiring messages and hiding them throughout the community back in 2017. She said it was to make people in her own community who found them smile.

“You find places to place them. Parks are popular, store fronts anywhere really in the hopes that somebody finds them and it makes their day a little bit better,” French said.

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Much to her delight, she said that her group’s kindness stones have made it around the globe.

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“I wish I traveled as far as my rocks have. They have been to Europe and Asia and several places in the U.S. They have been all across Canada.”

It’s believed that the Kindness Rock project started in 2015 when a rock was left on a beach on Cape Cod and from there, French said the movement quickly spread around the globe with Facebook groups like her own popping up right across the country.

“It gets families together and they are out hiding and hunting together and painting together.”

She said that in a world with so much stress and negativity leaving a colouful stone behind for someone to find can be uplifting, even in people’s darkest days.

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Jennifer Billings is a member of Fredericton Rocks. She said that painting a stone in honour of her dear friend, Fredericton Police Constable Sara Burns who was killed in the line of duty in 2018, was healing.

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She gave the stone to her friend’s family to be part of a memorial where “they spread her ashes on October 19th in Scotland.”

Billings thinks of her friend as she and her kids, along with French, venture out into nature to hide more kindness rocks, hoping the happiness they leave in the hearts of those who find them is marked in stone.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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