Every person at some point needs a pick-me-up — something to make them smile, brighten their day or let them know that they are appreciated.

Columbus residents are receiving such boosts of encouragement in an unexpected way — with rocks.

Not just ordinary rocks, but those that have been decorated with paint, images and messages, and hidden around Columbus for people to find unexpectedly.

Julia Federle learned about the inspirational rocks from a friend in North Carolina who was making them and started a local group called Columbus IN Rocks. Federle and six of her longtime friends — Susan Boxler, Carrie Green, Trisha Heathcote, Margaret Tunny, Billie Park and Debra Puckett Gayman — have run with the idea and created something popular and exciting for residents.

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They’ve hidden more than 1,000 rocks around the community since July. The rocks have included images of smiling faces and animals, plus a variety of positive messages such as:

“It’s cool to be kind”

“Put on a happy face”

“Smile!”

“Find happiness”

The group’s acts of kindness have had a ripple effect. Some people who find the rocks re-hide them, while others keep them and in turn create rocks to hide themselves.

That’s a wave of positivity rolling through Columbus. The kindness and encouragement the rocks represent are appreciated and serve to make the community a little closer and better.

Kudos to those who started this endeavor in Columbus and to those who have been inspired to likewise spread joy to fellow residents.

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