You are going to love September’s Westchester Woman Wednesday. Her name is Tracy Merolle and she’s the founder of this amazing Facebook Group: Westchester County Rocks Tracy started this page earlier this year for one reason: to promote kindness among people in Westchester County.
I decided to reach out and ask my many questions about this project. How did she come up with this idea? What inspired her? Were there any incredible success stories? Here’s what Tracy had to say about kindness rocks:
“Since election season began last year, I noticed a huge shift in our society. Suddenly it seemed more acceptable to be unkind to others. It was really bothering me. I wondered how our children were going to be affected, long term by all the negativity around them, and what, if anything, could I do to make a difference. During spring break we traveled down to Florida to visit with my parents who are snow birds. While we were there my Mom shared with me a “Kindness Movement” that she had heard of. There was a group in her county who were painting rocks and hiding them all around. They called themselves Volusia County Rocks and they had over 5k members! Of course we joined and my Mom encouraged me to see if there was such a thing going on back home in Westchester. I created the Facebook page back in April and the rest is history! We have had such a positive response in every community! From local libraries to girl scout troops, to nursery schools, all joining in with the fun!
I think the goal I had in starting Westchester County Rocks has come to fruition. The main objective was to do my small part in changing the world. I believe what you put out comes back to you. I also believe that we are all a drop in a very large ocean. Each one of us makes an impact and a difference. If one rock that myself or someone else paints happens to change the course of someone who finds its day, then it worked! I hope that this is showing children and adults that small acts of kindness add up and that people will pay it forward! Hopefully, the movement will grow beyond measure and create hope and kindness among all humans.
I have personally gained hope for a better future just by starting this page! I see the kind comments people leave on strangers posts. I see friendships strengthen around a table of painters. I see that there is such a thing as a ripple effect. Here is an example from a post I read. A man and women lost their newborn child and were waiting for the coronor to release the body. The morning that they had received notice, the man was just getting done working the overnight shift at his job. Obviously feeling great grief, he clocked out and happened upon a rock that was painted with a red cardinal and a line that said, “hello from heaven.” He brought it home to his wife and they both embraced and cried, knowing it was a message from their little baby up in heaven. He posted that to the Volusia County Rocks page. When I read it, again it solidified the purpose of these groups. There are lots of other serendipitous stories just like these. It’s what its all about! “
The photos above are from her page, ones that she’s created or that have been shared to her group. The messages are all positive and have a meaning. Some are just there to put a smile on someone’s face. Kids can recognize characters or logos that are familiar to them. They’re placed under a park bench, in a playground or on the walkway to the library for another person to enjoy finding. I am planning to do this myself with my sixth grade Girl Scout troop and I plan to share them to the Westchester County Rocks FB page! Thanks for starting this Tracy!
Tracy Merolle is a Westchester native, currently residing in Harrison with her husband Tom and their three children, Dylan, Julia and Tyler. She works as an aesthetician, makeup artist and microblader. Outside of work and rock painting, she enjoys spending time with her family, usually hiking and scouring beaches in the area looking for sea glass.