Local nonprofit organization seeks to spread peace during international Word Rocks Project event

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MACHEL HELDSTAB - Machel Heldstab painted this 'peace' rock for the July 3 International Drop-A-Rock day. Not quite a year old, the Sandy Rocks group already has big aspirations to partner globally to spread joy.

The local group is one of many sprouting up around the world with the simple purpose to spread kind words and a pop of color to their hometowns with painted rocks.

The Sandy group's present venture will be participating in the international Drop-A-Rock Day on Monday, July 3.

"All you do is paint a rock that represents peace and drop it somewhere," says Sandy Rocks founder Michael Heldstab

Sandy Rocks also encourages participants to paint "#droparock2017" and the Facebook "F" logo followed by "Sandy Rocks" on the back of their rocking creations to direct people to the group's Facebook page.

San Diego residents Carol Areas and her son Antonio started the Drop-A-Rock event in 2011 as part of their Word Rocks Project. Every year since then the theme of the rocks has changed, but the overall purpose has remained.

"I guess (Areas') goal was to join all rock groups to spread love and kindness, which goes along with some of (Sandy Rocks') goals," Heldstab says. "My deepest desire is that when you find one of my rocks you find the perfect rock at the perfect time."

The Sandy contingent plans to meet in Sandy's Centennial Plaza, 17499 Hoffman Ave., at 4:30 p.m. Monday for those who wish to hide rocks as a group.

"It's a great way for all of us to meet each other," Heldstab explains.

Heldstab hopes all 600 members of the Sandy Rocks Facebook community will participate, and that even more people might get involved through this event.

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