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Howell Alliance spreads positive messages with Kindness Rocks

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HOWELL – The directors of the Howell Municipal Alliance want to spread messages of positivity, resiliency and well-being in the community through the agency’s Kindness Rocks project.

The alliance collaborates across the community to prevent substance abuse, underage drinking, underage marijuana use, teen vaping, alcoholism, tobacco use and other at-risk behaviors. The alliance promotes mental health and the reduction of stigmas associated with substance use and mental health disorders.

Alliance coordinator Christa Riddle said when an individual reaches out to the alliance, that person receives compassion and information about various support resources that can assist them with their journey to wellness.

“It is really aimed at reducing the stigmas and starting conversations about mental health awareness and substance abuse. People are able to speak up and feel supported and get the resources they need for help,” Riddle said.

The Kindness Rocks project encourages young people, adults and the members of civic organizations to decorate rocks with positive messages and phrases such as “Hope,” “Strength” and “Never Give Up.” The decorated rocks become what the agency calls Kindness Rocks.

“The Kindness Rocks are for everyone in the community. Anyone who picks up a rock will find an inspirational message on the rock and they can apply that message any way they would like to in their life, just for positive mental well-being,” Riddle said.

Rocks bearing positive messages will be placed in a Kindness Rocks box and delivered to participating businesses. Individuals who visit the business will be able to select a rock and take it with them for inspiration.

Participating businesses and individuals who decorate the rocks will be featured in the alliance’s social media posts and on the alliance website’s Kindness Rocks project page.

“We are having volunteers paint the rocks … and then the rocks will go to local businesses. I have a lot of rock decorators who have stepped up, but I am looking for local businesses who would like to display a Kindness Rocks box. All that means is giving up a little counter space,” Riddle said.

“People can take a rock from the Kindness Rocks box for free, and for people who are stepping up to be rock decorators, we will supply the rocks,” she said.

To display a box of Kindness Rocks at a business or to decorate rocks in support of the Howell Municipal Alliance, call 732-938-4500, ext. 4012, or send an email to criddle@twp.howell.nj.us

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