Forget the broom challenge. A different viral trend is coming to the Gus Canty Community Center next week.
Dating back to 2015, the Kindness Rocks Project is a trend started by Megan Murphy, who wrote "You Got This" on a rock that she left at Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable.
"She started this project a few years ago, and it really took off," said Jackie Keaney, program director for the Falmouth Recreation Department. "The idea is one message, at the right moment, can change someone's entire day, outlook or life."
Kindness Rocks have been seen at various Falmouth beaches. The rocks are painted with inspirational messages, such as "Never Underestimate Yourself," "You Belong," and "Reach For The Stars."
"It seems like such a small thing, but a lot of the messages you see can be very personal or just catch you at the right time," she said. "The messages can really resonate with you."
The recreation department will host a pair of Kindness Rocks painting events at the Gus Canty Community Center on Wednesday, February 19. The first session will run from 1 to 2 PM, the second from 2 to 3 PM.
"I didn't think we were going to get a lot of interest, but we've had a lot of people share our Facebook post about it," which prompted her to add the second session, Ms. Keaney said,
Each session is limited to 25 participants. Those looking to participate can register by calling 508-457-2567 or emailing email@example.com. The event is free of charge, with the recreation department providing the rocks and the art supplies.
"We think it’s a good way to have children be thoughtful, artistic and have some fun during vacation," recreation department director Joseph E. Olenick said.
It is an all-ages event. Children will be given the option of taking their rocks to spread the kindness on their own or leaving them with recreation department staff. Ms. Keaney plans on starting a Kindness Garden, full of Kindness Rocks, at the community center.
She hopes to bring the Kindness Garden concept to other municipal buildings in town.
"I'm hoping, once the weather warms up, we can start some Kindness Gardens all around Falmouth," she said.
This marks the second Kindness Rocks event hosted by the recreation department. The program debuted at the Kid's Fest last November.
"We kind of did it on a whim for the Kid's Fest, and people loved it," Ms. Keaney said. "It was a pretty big event."