- Associated Press - Sunday, August 20, 2017

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - When Angi Tennant arrived at her office in Somerset Friday morning, she spotted a small blue rock that said “Shoot for the Stars.”

The rock was part of Joy Rocks, a movement in which people paint rocks with inspirational or uplifting sayings. About a month ago, a movement was started in Somerset: #JoyRocks15501.

“It was nice and easy to see as I walked up,” she said of the rock.

Tennant first heard about the movement happening in Ohio and West Virginia about a year ago. The movements are linked to Facebook groups where people post photos of the rocks and where they were found.

“It’s been fun to watch them pop up in the community,” she said. “It was fun on a Friday morning to see a little rock. It said ‘Shoot for the Stars.’”



Tennant said many of the rocks are beautifully done.

“It is amazing how much effort people put into them,” she said.

“I know a lot of people are looking for them. It is getting people out and moving, hoping they will find one.”

Cathy Wheeler, of Somerset, started the Joy Rocks 15501 group. Wheeler said she was inspired by something from her childhood.

“My inspiration sort of came from my mom,” she said. “She used to give us little trinkets and inspirational items for years.”

One day she was looking online and saw the Joy Rocks movement.

“I just saw some cute little stones being painted,” she said. “I thought, I’m going to my neighbors since she has a ton of stones. I am going to steal some and paint some stuff. It just took off from there.”

She started the local Facebook group on July 13. The group has grown to more than 800 members who post photos of the rocks they have created or found.

“It’s really fun to watch so many people become so excited over something so small and want to do their part to make other people happy,” she said. “There is so much good here. When something like this happens, you see a whole community come together; it is just beyond inspiring. It speaks to the good in the community.”

Wheeler explained that if someone finds a rock, they can keep it, move it to a new location or just admire the rock in its place.

“I sort of have the impression the rocks find the right people,” she said. “The message that is supposed to speak to you that day will find you.”

Wheeler said former Somerset County residents have been making rocks in their new hometowns.

Travelers have taken the 15501 rocks with them, leaving them in places such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.

“I found one at Starbucks the other day from West Virginia, and I replaced it with one of ours and rehid the West Virginia rock,” she said. “It’s really become fun.

“We can all do little things with great love. Why not spread that light?”

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Online:

https://bit.ly/2wtqWQz

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Information from: Daily American, https://www.dailyamerican.com

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