Some examples of ‘kindness’ rocks that were painted by members of the Boys and Girls Club in Rimbey. photo submitted

Some examples of ‘kindness’ rocks that were painted by members of the Boys and Girls Club in Rimbey. photo submitted

The ‘kindness rock snake’ continues to take shape in Rimbey

Residents are asked to contribute a ‘kindness rock’ to a project near the Blindman Youth Action Building

Momentum behind a new kindness project in Rimbey continues to grow.

Several community members in town are excited about a new way of lifting spirits via a very special project – a ‘kindness rock snake’ at the Blindman Youth Action Building.

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place, the Rimbey Municipal Library and the Rimbey Boys and Girls Club are collaborating to help create – with the help of local residents – the unique project.

“We are painting some rocks in the program, and then we will contribute them to the project,” said Alyssa Belsey, program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wolf Creek – Rimbey.

“I’m hoping that (the kids) really learn how simple it is to spread kindness – we are definitely going to be telling them about the project and letting them know that someone can also take a rock if they feel like they need a bit of a ‘pick me up’.

A recent release noted that the general public is being asked to bring along a painted rock for the project as well.

“Paint a rock with a word on it and place it on the snake at the BYAS building.”

Library Manager Jean Keetch has noted that conversations about the project were first sparked amongst members of an inter-agency group.

Keetch also contacted Leanne Evans of Rimbey Neighbourhood Place to further chat about the concept.

If people don’t have paints at home to decorate a rock, the Library has kits with rocks, paints, and brushes along with a children’s book if folks would like some help getting started.

And as mentioned, “If you see a word that speaks to your heart, please feel free to take that rock home and keep it for a while, bringing it back when you are ready. And if you do take a rock, please leave a rock in its place.”

Meanwhile, Belsey said that looking back over such an unprecedented year, there certainly have been ups and downs along the way as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club have both had to deal with continually shifting restrictions

“The kids are super-resilient. I give them huge props! They just roll with things,” she said. “We did have to close down the Club for two weeks in May due to the restrictions, but they are always excited to come back and get back into things,” she said.

She also explained that the Boys and Girls Club is gearing up for some summer programming for eight weeks.

“It will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to five, and we will have lots of different activities,” she said. “All of the weeks have different themes to them, so we have lots of fun stuff planned,” she added.

Belsey also mentioned that the ongoing ‘Pot of Gold” 50/50 fundraiser’ continues to run on a monthly basis through to the end of August with one winner each month. It’s been a real help during a time when regular kinds of fundraisers just haven’t been able to run as well.

She also said that there is a significant need for more Big Brothers and Big Sisters to sign on with the organization.

“This year has been unique, and I think it has changed the way that we recruit and get the word out there to people,” she said, referring to the lack of face-to-face meetings that the pandemic has prevented for so long.

“Hopefully, we will be getting back to that soon.”

Looking ahead, September marks Big Brothers Big Sisters month, and the organization will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in Rimbey as well.

For more about the Pot of Gold fundraiser, or about the Boys and Girls Club or Big Brothers, Big Sisters, call 403-843-1066 or find them on Facebook at ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rimbey’.