Have you seen brightly colored rocks with cute messages laying at a storefront? Have you seen people on Facebook posting pictures of their children painting rocks with positive sayings? Are you wondering what it’s all about?
Mel Guidry was tired of seeing and hearing so much negativity on Facebook and in the news. She wanted to do something to help spread a positive and spiritual message that others could also do, despite financial insecurities in a shaky economy.
On July 16, she painted 19 rocks with inspirational messages and placed them at various locations in Lafourche Parish. She also started a Facebook group called Let’s “Rock” Lafourche Parish.
Her hope was that people would share photos of inspirational rocks they’ve found, spread the message and post pictures of rocks they are painting and placing around the parish. She wanted to fill Facebook with positive vibes.
The public group has grown in just three short weeks to nearly 13,000 members. It has served as inspiration in other parishes as well as cities in Florida, Georgia, Texas and New York. A nationwide group was started entitled The “Rock” Touching America, which has more than 93,000 members.
Mel, a Lockport resident for the past 11 years, originally hails from St. Mary Parish. She got her inspiration from a friend who moved to St. Mary Parish from another state. The friend and a group of people in her hometown started painting ladybugs on rocks and placing them throughout the city to brighten people’s day. So she started a similar trend in St. Mary Parish.
Mel wanted to do something of the like in Lafourche but decided to include inspirational and spiritual messages.
“It’s inexpensive, positive and a spiritual way to send good vibes. So many people see the messages and know they were sent to them at this point in their life. You can call it a rock but to me it’s so much more than that. It carries a special message to so many,” Mel said.
After she started the group and things took off, several people posted that they’d like to get together in Lockport to paint rocks. Geaux Create, a family art center in Lockport, offered their place of business for the group painting session. During the event, the Lockport Chief of Police dropped by and asked if the group would like to help others paint rocks during the town’s Night Out against Crime, held on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle dropped in on a session being held in Thibodaux to let the youth and adult participants know that he appreciated their efforts to spread positivity in our parish. A free rock painting session was held on Saturday, August 6 at the Central Lafourche Market as well.
On Sunday, August 14, there will be an event at the Cut Off Youth Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to raise money to buy upgraded vests and equipment for Lafourche police officers. There will also be a free rock-painting booth at the event.
“I am just amazed and humbled by how much this movement has gained speed. My heart is happy to see so many little children with smiles and families working together to spread good vibes,” said Mel.
She went on to say that she hears so many positive stories from people who needed to get the message that was sent to them via rock or from families whose children put down the video games and iPads in order to paint rocks and bring them to different locations.
The rules are simple: find rocks and paint them then place them throughout Lafourche Parish. If you want to keep the rock you find, be sure you replace it with a rock that you have painted so that someone else will find one as well. Place all rocks outdoors (not inside stores or businesses).
Painters need to remember that since their artwork will be outdoors, they should use paints that are weather resistant (such as acrylic) and to use a clear coat (such as polyurethane spray) to seal it. Participants are urged to take a picture and post it to the parish Facebook group as well as the national one so news feeds will be filled with positive messages.
So grab a rock, get to painting and spread the love, Lafourche!
Posted on Fri, August 5, 2016
by Laurie Laine Coleman Staff Writer