Painted Rocks Are Spreading Love in Wendell NC

Painted rocks with bright green yellow and green heart in middle

Have you ever stumbled upon a colorful rock with a positive message or a cute design while walking around your neighborhood? If so, you might have encountered a kindness rock, a simple but powerful way to brighten someone’s day.

Kindness rocks are part of a global movement that started with The Kindness Rocks Project, an initiative encouraging people to create painted rocks and leave them for others to find and collect. The idea is to spread kindness, joy, and inspiration through these small acts of creativity.

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One of the local groups that follow this concept is Wendell Rocks, a Facebook group with over 1.6K members who share their painted rocks and hints of where to find them in Wendell, NC. The group was created in 2017 and has grown into a vibrant rock painters and hunters community.


Want to learn more?  Here is an interview done via email that I recently had with Lisa Lass, one of the Wendell Rocks admins.  A huge shout and thank you to Lisa for being so kind as to spend her time sharing the group’s story and teaching me so much!

1. When did Wendell Rocks get started?

“Wendell Rocks has been going on for a few years now as part of the countrywide art movement called Kindness Rocks. Just a simple way to share positivity with people in the community and beyond with art and good vibes. Other parts of the country may have rock groups specific to their areas, like one time my husband found a rock from another group called Northeast Ohio Rocks at a rest stop. They’re a huge group.

If you find a rock, turn it over and check for the name of the group that made it. You can search Facebook for the group’s name to see if they have a page to post it on. If you want to create rocks to share, just tag the underside of the rock with the name of the local group you are in. If you are in Wendell, tag it as “Wendell Rocks Facebook”

2. Who began the project?

When I joined, a woman named Kelly was the group admin, and I believe she’d taken it over from someone else. Kelly moved out of town a couple of years ago.

3. What was the drive behind starting Wendell Rocks?

As a fun, colorful way to put positivity out into the world. Like leaving a simple painted rock telling a stranger to have a nice day. It is an easy way to communicate a positive or fun message.

White painted rock by wooden post that says, "You are loved" with heart

4. Has the Town of Wendell helped to hide or post a rock?

The mayor is often sharing our Facebook posts to promote the group, thanks Mayor Ginna!

5. How many rocks would you estimate have been found so far?

Hundreds, maybe thousands! I know personally I have done hundreds of them. It is one of my favorite things to do when the weather is bad or when I am bored. When Hurricane Flo came through, I spent the whole day doing rocks, probably a hundred that day alone. It is a fun way to spend time when the weather is bad — creating art.  

6. Do Local schools/businesses/artists know about Wendell Rocks, and have they contributed in the past?

We’ve had Blanchie (of the delicious Blanchies restaurant fame) post a couple she found. In the past, the General Store let folks pick up blank rocks others had donated. We had a couple of local artists coordinate rock painting tables for kids at downtown events.

7. Most touching feedback?

Definitely from the person who said she found one of our rocks, a smiley face, and it made her day because she’d been having a rough time. Her mom had recently passed away, and when she found the smiley face, she took it as a sign from her mom to remember to smile and be happy. That one made me tear up, and it also made me happy knowing that it had made her smile during a difficult time. That’s what it’s all about. 

8. Can residents of other towns come to contribute to and/or search for the rocks (as long as they put the #WendellRocks on the back of their rocks)?

Absolutely, we welcome all artists – or you can even start a group in your town if you don’t have one already!

9. Do you have any suggestions for creating and hiding these rocks?

Have fun with it, and have good intentions. The point is to share a positive thought with a stranger finding your rock. You can be simple and just write a message like “Good Luck” or “Have a nice day!” I like to do themed rocks for holidays, watermelons or ladybugs, portraits of my cat, and so many more. Let the shape of the rock speak to you if it’s funky-looking.

It’s not for promoting things like a product or business. It’s to make someone’s day better. You don’t have to create masterpieces; remember the simple smiley face that made someone’s day. Children are some of the best rock artists – be colorful and imaginative!

Avoid things like googly eyes and sprinkling glitter on them (but glitter paint is ok), just so those things don’t fall off and cause trash in the environment.

For hiding them, don’t enter anyone’s private property, like don’t put one inside someone’s garden or anywhere in the middle of a lawn where a mower could get it.

Painted rocks with purple paint stating "You've got this!"

10. Is there a great spot for a Wendell Rocks newbie like me to start looking for some?

Keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page, and sometimes, people post where they hide rocks or give hints – I like to hide them when I take a stroll downtown on Main Street for exercise. I try to keep a couple of random ones in my purse to leave when I’m out and about in Wendell and beyond.

Downtown Wendell NC streetscape

11. Is there anything else you would like current and future residents of Eastern Wake to know about Wendell Rocks (or really anything Eastern Wake-related?) 

The more artists, the merrier! Have fun with your kids painting together, do a sip of wine and paint night with your adult friends, and unwind painting a tiny canvas you can share with a stranger after work.

We are here to put a smile on our faces with our art and words of kindness. Some of our rocks have traveled across the country! Feel free to spread them around if you find them. If you find one of our rocks, post a pic on our Facebook page. And be sure to Rock On!”


After my interview and discussion with Lisa, my kids and I were so excited to go and search for some rocks in downtown Wendell!  We searched by the businesses, around the sides of some of the buildings, and of course, had to stop into Carter’s Baking Company for a cake pop, latte, and cherry Danish break!  A big thank you to Katie Carter, who helped point us in the direction of where some rocks were found the other day!

We searched high and low through downtown and the Wendell Community Park. Well, at least as high and low as possible with a two and 4-year-old.  But the kids had a blast searching for the “rock treasures.”

Unfortunately, we came up empty-handed.  Thankfully, we still had this rock painting kit at home that was gifted to my daughter as a birthday present, so we were inspired to get home and start making our own!  The kids had a blast with their creations.

In fact, We at Eastern Wake Love were so inspired by Wendell Rocks in Wendell, NC, that we decided to start our own kindness rock project in Knightdale, NC. We want to bring more happiness and positivity to our town and connect with other like-minded people.

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That’s why we’re launching Knightdale Rocks, a new Facebook group where you can share your painted rocks and discover those left by others in Knightdale. We invite you, your kids, and your family to join us and participate in this fun and meaningful community activity.

All you need to do is find some smooth rocks, paint them with environmentally-friendly acrylic paint or markers, and write #knightdalerocks on the back. Then, hide them in public places where others can find them, such as parks, trails, sidewalks, or benches. You can also post a photo of your rock and a hint of its location on our Facebook group.

Please refrain from adding anything like googly eyes, pipe cleaners, or anything else that can be detached over time, as we want to ensure we leave no trace behind in our beautiful parks!

If you find a painted rock, you can keep it, re-hide it, or swap it with another one. Don’t forget to share a photo of your find on our Facebook group and use the hashtag #knightdalerocks. You can also follow or join us on Facebook @ Knightdale Rocks for more updates and news.


We hope that Knightdale Rocks will make you smile and feel appreciated. We also hope it will inspire you to spread kindness and compassion in other ways, such as volunteering, donating, or helping a neighbor. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some rocks and paint, and join the Knightdale Rocks movement today! Let’s make Knightdale a happier and kinder place, one rock at a time.

Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.


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