Kindness Rocks: A little bit of happiness brings smiles to Picayune community

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 12, 2017


Picayune residents may have noticed small gems popping up throughout town. The painted rocks bear inspirational messages and have been quietly placed in the downtown area over the past month.

The Kindness Rocks Project has come to Picayune with the help of a local couple, Jennifer Strachan and her fiancé Jason Matthews.

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After spending many years in the education field, Strachan now works at the Picayune Center for Alternative Education.

“These kids are at an age where there’s not a lot of positivity,” she said.

An online search led Strachan to the Kindness Rocks Project, a national campaign aimed at inspiring others through randomly placed rocks.

With extra time on her hands this summer, Strachan said she got to work, painting rocks with short inspirational quotes and phrases inspired by the rocks themselves.

“I’m trying to do something positive,” she said.

Once a clear coat is applied, the designs can be preserved to withstand all weather conditions, ensuring a lasting impression on the community.

The rocks are then placed throughout town, often in parks or areas where people travel on foot and would notice them.

“I believe that when someone finds a rock, that person is meant to find that rock with that particular message,” Strachan said.

With messages like “Believe in magic things,” and “Love is never perfect, but it should never hurt you,” these rocks aim to help people in the community, she said.

Now, Strachan’s hoping to bring the project to her school and help students learn about “paying it forward” by doing something for someone else, and expecting nothing in return.

Too often she finds that her students live in a world where people don’t care about them, Strachan said. But through these kinds of programs children can see that there are adults who take the time show compassion and that there are people who care about them. That’s what makes a difference, she said.

“I wanted to bring something positive back to Picayune,” Strachan said. “Mississippi is always first in the worst things and last in the best, we need more positivity.”

Even if only one person picks up a rock and it makes them smile, then her time and effort was worth it, she said.

Participation in the project is easy. All anyone would need is some rocks, craft paint and a little bit of time, Strachan said.

It’s a fun project for everyone, from families, to classrooms, church groups and beyond, she said.

More information on the local effort can be found on the Kindness Rocks Project-Picayune Facebook page.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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