Haddonfield resident Terry Migrala is hiding rocks adorned with inspirational messages around town in hopes of spreading some community kindness.
Terry Migrala is on a quiet mission to spread a little kindness throughout Haddonfield. Migrala has been making the rounds: a trip to the Hadrosaurus Park, a stop by the Indian King Tavern and a visit to the local soccer field. At every location, Migrala has left a little something behind: a painted rock with a positive message.
Migrala’s goal is to get the Haddonfield community engaged in the “Kindness Rocks” project. The concept is simple: If you find one of the painted rocks, you upload a photo of it to the Haddonfield Rocks Facebook page with #HaddonfieldRocks. The rock’s discoverer can then either hide the rock again with a clue on the page as to where to find it or keep the rock. In addition, anyone in the community can join in on the fun by painting their own rock to contribute to the game.
The inspiration came one day when Migrala was on Facebook and came upon the Kindness Rocks Project. The project aims to spark random acts of kindness through inspirational messages painted on rocks and has since inspired rock groups, such as Haddonfield Rocks, in communities not only throughout South Jersey but across the world.
In that moment, when Migrala came upon the project, inspiration struck.
“That’s something I can do — something simple,” Migrala said. “I can paint. I can pick up a rock. It adds positivity back into the world, and it’s helping make somebody’s day.”
Haddonfield lends itself to the Kindness Rocks project, Migrala said. She said community members are active and engaged in the walkable town, and for that reason, she was excited by the prospect of bringing the phenomenon to town.
An aunt to several nieces and nephews, Migrala said she liked the idea of starting a kindness campaign tailored toward kids. She said it helps set an example of the good that’s possible in the world rather than the negativity that inundates the news.
Migrala has been giving careful consideration in these first few weeks of starting the project as to where to hide the rocks so each has particular impact on whoever finds it. For instance, Migrala painted “she believed she could, so she did” on one rock and hid it by a soccer field in hopes that a young girl might find it and feel inspired. On a heart-shaped rock, she simply wrote “love” and placed it outside a church.
Since starting the group, a handful of parents have posted photos of Migrala’s rocks that have been found by children around town. While the project is in its early stages, Migrala said kids in town can use the project as a way to express themselves without fear or pressure from peers.
“Kids feel like they have to prove themselves a lot of times,” Migrala said. “They can do it on their own, and show themselves in [the rocks].”
The project is not restricted to kids, however. Migrala said anyone can join in. She said prior to starting the project in Haddonfield, she wasn’t much of an artist, but she’s found joy in taking something simple — like a rock — and using it as a creative outlet.
Nearby towns of Moorestown and Washington Township have their own rocks groups, but Migrala said she was surprised to find the phenomenon was even more prevalent than just the surrounding towns. She said on a recent visit to Washington State, her brother came upon painted rocks, and her friend in a seaside town in the United Kingdom is part of a rocks group as well.
Her long-term goal is to grow the group on Facebook, but in the meantime, Migrala is excited just to get the rocks out for people to find and feel inspired. She said during one of her most recent hiding expeditions, she even put out a few smeared rocks.
“I was so eager to get more rocks out to keep the momentum going that I didn’t leave enough time for the paint to dry,” Migrala said.
To join the Haddonfield Rocks page, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/haddonfield.rocks.