Youth involved in the WAK Youth Programming have been placing kindness stones around town. This month, there were some special stones created in honour of #PrideMonth to celebrate inclusion and let others know they are loved and aren’t alone. #WAKkindnessstones
Smiths Falls youth spread kindness, Pride Month love
WAK Youth Programming, run out of the Smiths Falls Youth Arena by Big Brothers Big Sisters, are spreading a little kindness around town. Pictured here, two kindness rocks painted by the youth. One says “#lovewins,” the other says “live proud.” – Evelyn Harford/Metroland
WAK Youth Programming, run out of the Smiths Falls Youth Arena by Big Brothers Big Sisters, are spreading a little kindness around town. The youth and their leaders are leaving kindness stones around Smiths Falls. Pictured here, the youth depart to drop off the kindness rocks around town on Monday, June 11. – Evelyn Harford/Metroland
If you’ve stumbled across a carefully hand painted rock in town, you wouldn’t be alone.
Smiths Falls youth, part of the WAK Youth Program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters Lanark County, have been spreading kindness by placing kindness stones around town in hopes that they will help brighten people’s day with unsuspected moments of colour and positivity.
“I think it’s nice. Sometimes people can be alone in the summer when they’re not in school,” said one of the youth, Ocean, who painted a rock in rainbow colours with the message “#lovewins” — in honour of the Pride Flag for Pride Month, observed each June, to celebrate diversity and inclusion. “I think it’s good to spread positivity throughout the community — especially in the summer.”
Another youth, Mason, painted a Bi Pride Flag rock with the words “live proud” to let others know they aren’t alone.
“It’ll make people feel good if they see the stone and recognized themselves,” he said. “They’ll think … that’s my flag.”
The youth have been going around as a group placing the stones in places where they’ll be found and hopefully brighten someone’s day.
“It’s a simple way to help people in the community without having to be there,” said Bridget Manahan, manager of youth services for Big Brothers Big Sisters Lanark County. “It brings more positivity into the community when groups like ours come together to do simple gestures.”
And, she said, it teaches the youth an important lesson: “It’s easier to be kind to one another than show hatred.”
The impact of the kindness stones are already being felt.
Heidi McNeely, a youth after school program facilitator with Big Brothers Big Sisters Lanark County, said she’s already spotted one of their stones on display on the front desk at the Smiths Falls Public Library.
“It just felt really nice to know we were developing a good connection to the community,” she said. “It was really nice to know the person found it outside and really like it.”
If you find a kindness rock around town share it on Facebook with the hashtag #WAKkindnessstones.