Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gifts from Good Hearts Pittsburgh Rocks Spreads Kindness Via Facebook

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gifts from Good Hearts Pittsburgh Rocks Spreads Kindness Via Facebook

Article excerpt

In February, Cynthia and Mark Golebie of Castle Shannon traveled to Ohio. They were seeking solace as they continued to grieve the loss of their daughter, Amanda, who died unexpectedly at age 24 in August 2015.

As they hiked through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, bright colors caught Mrs. Golebie's eye: a rock painted with a pink, white and purple design. Information on the back of the rock directed her to the local Kindness Rocks Facebook page. Kindness Rocks is a trend that began in Cape Cod and has been traveling across the United States.

The rules are simple: Find a hand-painted rock (often hidden in parks, but they can turn up anywhere), post a picture to Facebook and then hide the rock in a different spot to spread the joy. Finders are encouraged to paint and hide their own rocks, with social media information on the back.

Mrs. Golebie loved the idea so much that she decided to bring it to Pittsburgh. She painted more than 200 rocks, hid them in parks and natural spaces around the city and opened the public Facebook group Pittsburgh Rocks. That was in mid-March.

The group now has more than 4,800 members and sees upward of 20 posts each day. Group members post about rocks they made, rocks they found, smiling photos of children and anything else.(There's a similar group - Pittsburgh Paints Rocks - that has more than 300 followers on its site and also was started in March.)

"I have parents thanking me," Mrs. Golebie said. "Their kids want to go outside again. ... It's bringing families together."

A spirit of positivity fuels the group that has very few rules. Ms. Golebie was strict about one thing, though: no politics.

"Please do not paint rocks regarding political issues, hot-topic issues or issues revolving around adult concerns. Do not paint rocks with awareness ribbons or cause logos. We are not that kind of group," a post reads.

When Tina Beaver from South Park Township was added to the group by a Facebook friend, she was wary, as she often is on the social platform. …

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