Painted rocks are being found all over the Coastal Bend, but they aren't just any art project.
They are kindness rocks.
The purpose of kindness rock is to inspire creativity and spread happiness. People of all ages find a rock, paint and decorate it with either pictures or quotes and then hide them around the area for others to find.
Every rock looks different and is hidden in hundreds of places, but one thing they all have in common is that they're made with love.
In 2016, Melissa Allen started a Facebook group called Corpus Christi Rocks with the goal of making others smile. At the time, she didn't know how much of an impact it would make on her community.
"I love making people smile with a simple gesture," Allen said. "I didn't realize at the time how many people would participate and the inflow of messages thanking me for the idea and how their kids really enjoyed painting and hiding the rocks as well."
The kindness rocks groups aren't just found in the Coastal Bend. Others started similar groups where they live.
Sue Monson, author of A Simple Act of Kindness, started a Facebook group five years ago for Winter Texans called FM Rockhounds. The kindness rocks brought her so much joy that it inspired her to write a book.
"Somebody had found one of my rocks and they posted on our Facebook page her little boy sleeping with the rock. That’s what inspired the story. I just started thinking how a rock can touch somebody and so I went with that thought and I wrote it all in one night," Monson said.
Monson wrote the book in January 2020, right after her mother passed away. The book is about a little girl who lives in orphanage.
She finds a rock and it encourages her to not let go of her dream to find a family. The book can be bought on Amazon in English and Spanish.
"Many days, these rocks are my sanity. Creating the rocks gives me something to do and helps calm nerves," Monson said. "Going out and hiding them makes me really happy and seeing people find them makes me really happy because it gives people hope. Our rocks have made it to all seven continents now."
The rocks have also inspired others to get their families involved. 5-year-old Kori Besherse started making rocks in October 2022 after she found her first one at a Hobby Lobby.
"I like to make people happy. Just let them be happy with the rocks I make. That’s it. That’s all I want," Besherse said.
Her mom told us that Kori loves to hide her rocks at church, by park benches, and at grocery stores.
To join in on the fun, residents can pick a nice-looking rock, grab some paint brushes and sharpies and get creative. They can even use mod podge to seal their masterpiece.
When finished decorating the rock, hide it wherever possible.
Allen recommends hiding them at night so people don't see where it is placed. She said hiding them in public areas is also a good idea.
On the back of the rock, make sure to write "keep or re-hide."
By doing this, the cycle keeps going.
Please keep your artwork PG rated that way kids can enjoy it and remember to be respectful of private property and businesses.
Allen encourages everyone to show off their artwork or share the rocks they find on the Corpus Christi Rocks Facebook page.