Monrovia art project paints rocks to share messages of positivity amid Bobcat Fire, pandemic

The mission of this project is simple: one message at just the right moment can change someone's entire day, their outlook, maybe even their life.
MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- With more people at home during the coronavirus pandemic, rock community groups are gaining popularity. We're not talking about the head banging music, but actual rocks.

Yes, there's a phenomenon that has people painting rocks with images or inspirational messages and leaving them for their neighbors.

Maria Vangilder of "Monrovia Rocks" is one of those people trying to lift people's spirits by painting rocks.

"You know every little bit of happiness we can find right now, that's a good thing," said Vangilder. "It's to spread joy and love around the town, that might sound a little hokey but you know in these times, just a little thing like finding a painted rock does bring some joy."

It's a simple idea, born by the Kindness Rocks Project, a global movement with a viral following on social media. The rocks can be found just about anywhere.

"Many people say they've walked further just so they can find a few more rocks!" said Vangilder.

This week, in a smoke-filled Monrovia, the rocks have deeper meaning. Outside the city's fire headquarters, a couple dozen have been placed - a way of saying thanks following the Bobcat Fire that continues to burn in the Angeles National Forest.

You can also imagine, because of the pandemic, the painting has become really popular.

"I think everyone can do it, everyone can appreciate it, everyone can collect a rock, everyone can appreciate the art, everyone can give it to someone," said "Monrovia Rocks member Penny Katz.

The mission of this project is simple: that one message at just the right moment can change someone's entire day, their outlook, maybe even their life.

"I've met a lot of my neighbors that I may not have met without this group... it's been a lot of fun," said Katz.

"I think it's nice for what's going on in the world to have something positive," said Andrea Bucci of Monrovia.

And that's something we can all agree on, as we say "thank you" to our local fire crews one the front lines.
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