A colorful trend has made it’s way to Wilbarger County, two women have started an initiative aimed at bringing the community together.
The movement invites people to paint rocks and hide them throughout the community for other people to find in hopes of brightening their day and spreading happiness.
Hannah Barnes is 19 years old and has been battling stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma since February and has endured 6 rounds of chemotherapy.
It’s that tough journey that inspired her to start “Wilbarger County Rocks.”
“It’s been a hard six months, very hard six months,” Barnes said. “It really helped me through the tough days, I go paint a rock and if i know that it made my day just painting it, then I know it will make someone else when they find it.”
Barnes and her cousin Kye Johnson said the idea originated when they were on vacation in Houston and heard about the trend happening down there.
“You paint it, you can draw a picture on it, you can write something inspiring, bible verse, whatever, and then you just take it out in public and hide it,” Barnes said. ” At a gas pump, an ATM, isle in Walmart, just anywhere for someone to find it and then they see it and it brightens up their day.”
The “Wilbarger County Rocks” Facebook page has only been up for for a couple of weeks, and the number of group members has already reached over 2,000.
Members of the Facebook page frequently post pictures of rocks they’ve found or that they plan to hide for others to find, and Barnes and Johnson said they had no idea the trend would spread so quickly.
“Seeing some of the posts that are on Facebook, it is obvious that it’s made a difference in the community,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said she thinks the project has been therapeutic for Barnes when she needed it the most.
“It gave her something to look forward to while she was going through such a hard time,” Johnson said. “It’s fun, you wouldn’t believe how relaxing and exciting and how just painting one rock will take your mind off of everything that’s negative in your life. It just takes all of that away for the short time you’re painting that rock.”
“It’s not just for adults, or just for kids, it’s for everybody, and it’s fun,” Barnes said. “I just hope it brightens their day.”
Barnes also said she hopes the trend continues to grow, because it may be a small gesture, but it can make a big difference.
Barnes also recently found out she is now cancer free and will be attending nursing school at Vernon College next fall.
For more information, you can visit the Wilbarger County Rocks Facebook page by clicking here.