Sometimes even the smallest things can bring about more kindness in our communities.
Just ask a group in a northeastern KELOLAND town. Two times a month, you can find a group of painters here at the Senior Citizens Center in Sisseton.
But you don’t have to have a flair for the arts to pick up a brush in this group.
“I’m not an artist at all,” Twila Moshier said.
“I am not a good artist. I just try what I can do and hope it turns out,” Debra Jonnassen said.
Sure, these Sisseton sisters may not consider themselves skillful with a brush, but that’s not what’s important here.
Twila Moshier and Debra Jonnassen are painting kindness rocks.
“Sometimes we get ideas off of Pinterest. Sometimes we get ideas from each other,” Moshier said.
Moshier started the Sisseton Rocks group three years ago.
You can find similar projects in other communities.
“What we do is we paint our rocks and then we place them out for someone to find. We always call it hiding the rock, but of course we’re putting it in an obvious place for someone to find,” Moshier said.
“Drop them off by clinics, cafes, restaurants. Wherever we go we bring rocks with us,” Jonnassen said.
The kindness rocks come with instructions on the back of them. You can post pictures of both sides to the Sisseton Rocks Facebook page and then keep the rock or re-hide it.
“There’s heart warming stories on our page. It’s just fun to go read them where someone will say their day wasn’t going very good at all and they found that painted rock and it just put a smile on their face,” Moshier said.
The stones travel many miles.
Moshier says Sisseton rocks have turned up all over the country, a few even in Germany and France.
“I had left one last year in Watertown at the hearing service and that one ended up in Hawaii,’ Moshier said.
But not all stay on the move, and that’s okay.
“Somebody posted on there that they had to keep their kindness rock because it reminded them to be kind,” Moshier said.
No matter how far these rocks travel, that’s exactly what these sisters and other group members are trying to accomplish.
“This day and age it is very important. It’s just nice to see the smiles on people’s faces when they post the rocks. It really makes their day,” Jonnassen said.
And these painters believe something as small as a rock can create a big wave of kindness.
Moshier says a few extra smiles are especially needed right now.
“This is a time where we do need to spread kindness. We’re not united anymore. We just really need that little extra rock or whatever it may be,” Moshier said.
That’s why three years later, these painters are still creating kindness.
Moshier says the rocks are sanitized before they are hidden.
Before the pandemic, a group of about 8-10 people gathered to paint. Now, about 3 or 4 usually paint at the Senior Citizens Center.