Richmond Hill artist inspires kindness with rocks


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Madeleine Asuncion with students of Bond Lake PS

A simple painted rock has turned into a community-wide call for kindness. As the kids of Bond Lake Public School say, “Ripples of kindness become waves of change.” 

Madeleine Asuncion, a Richmond Hill artist, started the Kindness Rocks project a year ago by drawing mandalas on rocks and leaving them along the trail for people to pick up, with simple calls for kindness were inscribed on the backs. Soon, she received messages from strangers who had picked them up and were inspired to reach out. 

“We wanted to inspire people to reflect on the fact that if they found something and they felt special, they have that same power,” said Asuncion. “[They] are capable of being kind intentionally.” 

The Kindness Rock project at Bond Lake PS involved every grade. Rocks were left on the doorsteps of every house in the area and in a rock garden at the school. They were painted with inspirational words in a variety of languages. 

“That was [the students’] idea,” she said. “Their understanding of the necessity to communicate to all local cultures and languages was so good.” 

Over 1,200 rocks were painted. Asuncion is in talks with other schools to bring her Kindness Rocks to communities across the GTA.

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Jessica Wei is an associate editor for Post City. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Montreal, Hong Kong and, now, Toronto. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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