Sweet Buffalo Rocks started out as an initiative where inspirational messages were painted on rocks, and then hidden throughout the city for people to find. Incredibly, this feel good initiative has managed to rally together over 30,000 members since first launching a year ago.
During that time, Sweet Buffalo Rocks creator Kimberly LaRussa has been working on developing additional ways to enhance the project, because she has witnessed so many heartwarming stories along the way. The hidden messages (painted on rocks) have been so well-received that Sweet Buffalo Rocks is officially becoming a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization so that it can raise funds (via benefits, fundraisers, t-shirt sales, etc.) for families in need. While messages of hope are instrumental, when bundled with funds they can go even further.
“When we received the rocks and the donation at the benefit it brought tears to my eyes,” said Krystal Hayden, whose 3-year-old son Bentley has been battling cancer. “The fact that so many people who don’t even know Bentley or my family can come together and make such beautiful rocks that fit Bentley perfectly is amazing!”
To date, the Sweet Buffalo Rocks effort has managed to raise $5,000 for Bentley’s family via rock auctions within the group. Members of the Sweet Buffalo Rocks group have also held events and t-shirt sales to increase the funding, so that more families can benefit. For example:
- An Easter Egg hunt event raised money for TJ Ackley, an Alden boy battling cancer
- T-shirt sales helped raise funds for 2-year-old Anastasia Rafter of Niagara Falls who is battling a brain tumor
- $1,000 was raised for a North Tonawanda family in need of emergency housing
What started off as a fun treasure hunt, to spread goodness throughout Buffalo, has become a much farther reaching feel good enterprise. Leave it to Buffalonians to transform a good-natured adventure into a selfless endeavor that benefits so many people (and even pets).
If you want to see some of the fabulous painted rocks that have been found around Buffalo, visit this Facebook page. If you like what you see, consider joining in on the fun, and paint your own rocks to hide in the area.
If you’d like to make a donation to Sweet Buffalo Rocks, you may do so here: paypal.me/sweetbuffalorocks or to learn about Sweet Buffalo Rocks, visit www.sweetbuffalorocks.com. Sweet Buffalo Rocks Inc. is in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status.