T-Town Painted Rocks

Robin Imburgia, of Teutopolis, has been busy with her family spreading kindness with the Teutopolis Rocks movement. Her boys, Eli (left) and Noah, have been busy painting and hiding rocks throughout the community.

By Kim Jansen
News Report Staff
A little bit of kindness can go along way
And Teutopolis resident Robin Imburgia is proving just that as she and her boys start up a “kindness rock” movement in the Teutopolis community.
Kindness rocks, which are rocks colorfully painted with pictures or messages of kindness and love, have been created and hidden (sometimes in plain sight) in communities across the country in hopes of people finding them and receiving an expected message of kindness.
The finder is then asked to take the rock and “pay it forward” to pass on the random act of kindness.
That is exactly what has been happening in Teutopolis, with the Teutopolis Rocks movement, started by Imburgia with the help of her two young boys, Noah, 4, and Eli, 3.
With kindness rocks popping up around T-Town, several residents have been surprised.
Becky Hoene, of Mainly You, found a kindness rock that was painted green with a message of “Love” on it just outside the salon.
“I thought it was a pretty cool idea,” said Hoene. “It is a nice surprise that I wasn’t expecting to find. It caught me off guard.”
Hoene paid it forward by re-hiding the rock and was glad to be part of the kindness movement.
“It is a fun way to spread love and spread kindness. Let’s face it — the world needs it,” said Hoene. “It is a nice reminder to be kind and to share kindness.”
Jane Summers, who works at Siemer Milling Company, said two rocks had been found outside the businesses, and at first, employees were not sure what to think.
“When we found the first one, we thought Rick (Siemer’s) grandkids had been here playing and left it there. But then we found the second one, and we knew that something was going on,” said Summers.
Summers said the rock was paid forward and was left as a surprise for one of the Meals on Wheels receivers that employees from the business deliver meals to.
“It is fun, and it may brighten the day for that one single person who was having a bad time,” she said.
Messages and stories like this are just what Imburgia had hoped would happen in her small community, and she hopes the spreading of the rocks and kindness will continue.
“A little bit of kindness can brighten your day,” said Imburgia. “It can bring a community together when you show people that kindness.”
Imburgia and her boys, along with some help from friends and relatives, have painted over 50 rocks that they have hidden and left around Teutopolis.
“It was a great summer activity,” said Imburgia, who was looking to get her kids out of the house and away from electronics.
The boys helped collect, paint and hide the rocks, which Imguria said created a fun activity and also led them on adventures around the community, including the local parks where the kids played after hiding their rocks.
The Teutopolis Rock movement even goes a step further for those who want to see how the messages are being spread.
Imburgia has created a Facebook group called “Teutopolis (Kindness) Rocks,” where people can join the group and watch the rocks travel as they are paid forward. Many of the painted rocks have the Facebook group information on them and ask finders to join the group.
With several people who find kindness rocks posting photos to the page, Imburgia said it is neat to see where the rocks travel and how they are passed along. She added her boys love finding rocks that are theirs that have been re-hidden along the way.
“When they see the rocks being found and re-hid, it is kind of neat because they get to see their rock travel,” she said.
Imburgia hopes other families will get involved in the movement and paint their own rocks, adding that it teaches children creativity and kindness.
“It gives you a warm feeling and spreads happiness, which is what it is all about,” she said.