Facebook group Northeast Ohio Rocks! spreads acts of kindness

Posted at 11:05 AM, Mar 06, 2017

Find a rock. Paint a rock. Hide a rock. Three basic actions with big impacts. With 68,022 members and growing, Northeast Ohio Rocks! is spreading acts of kindness throughout Ohio and beyond. The idea is to get up, get outside and get moving away from electronics. Rocks are hidden anywhere from hiking trails, rest stops, to parks and landmarks. Nancy Powell, founder and administrator of Northeast Ohio Rocks!, tells News 5 the story of success and hope behind this growing group.

1. Why did you start Northeast Ohio Rocks?

My son, Eric Powell, is stationed at Oak Harbor Washington with the US Navy. While my son was deployed to Afghanistan, his wife, my daughter-in-law Mallory (Adams) Powell, began participating in Whidbey Island Rocks. Mallory called me and said, "Mom you have to start this in Ohio". On July 24, 2016, I started the group. At the time we were the third group in Ohio. There was a group in Hillsboro, OH with 6 members and another group in Southern Ohio that I have lost track off. 

2. What was the purpose of this group?
The purpose of the group is the paint a rock and hide a rock as a random act of kindness to unexpectedly brighten a stranger's day and pass it on. We do not keep rocks. We ask that finders re-hide the rock so that others have their days brightened as well. We ask them to pass on the random act of kindness. It is like when the person in front of you at a drive-thru pays for your coffee and then you pay for the car behind you and on and on. The rocks keep sharing kindness.
Our group has changed people's lives. Many people say thank you for giving them a reason the create again. Many people find healing in painting the rocks. Creating is good for you. It releases endorphins which make us feel great. Sharing makes you feel great too. Giving the rocks is good for the giver and the receiver.
Many people who have been naysayers have found a rock and have become inspired by the rocks.
Families are out taking walks finding rocks to paint. They are spending time together painting the rocks. Families are having painting parties and sharing pictures of their paint rocks. To share random acts of kindness.Many people have said thank you. My teenagers spend more time with me now. Many people have said thank you for giving us a reason to step away from the electronics.

3. How far has the group reached? Any notable stories of people finding rocks in strange or far away places?
Northeast Ohio Rocks! has inspired the start of many groups. There is a list in the pinned post. We inspired the start of over 30 groups from all over the world as far as Santiago, Chile. 
Rocks have been found in Tanzania, South Korea, St Thomas. We have a folder in the albums section for our international travelers. 
My husband and I recently vacationed in the Caribbean and hid rocks painted by members Ashley and Ryan Cook in St. Thomas, San Juan, Amber Cove and Turks and Caicos. 
4. Why do you think it's made such an impact?
The group has impacted so many people because we all want to feel kindness. We want to give kindness. We want to share kindness. We also work very hard to keep the group positive and uplifting. There is no negativity allowed. We have a zero tolerance rule on negativity and rudeness. We keep our group safe for children as well. We do not allow the names of any children in any post or comment. Many people like our rules and many comments we are the best group on Facebook. We love hearing this and keep working hard to make sure our group is inspiring and uplifting and safe for children to visit. 
5. How many rocks are painted and found every year?
I have painted 1100+ rocks. I have not found a single rock, yet