NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.  –  Giving people a little break, something to make them smile during this pandemic. And a mom in Newport Beach is spreading a bit of joy, one rock at a time.  

Shina Hopkins and her kids, Ella and EJ, have hidden rocks throughout their neighborhood

Hopkins says they hope each one of the rocks spread some joy in their neighborhood, especially right now. 

“Now more than ever people are walking so much, what a great time to get them out there,” Hopkins said. 


Each rock is hand painted. Hopkins’ kids have painted some of the rocks. But sometimes the mom of two, paints solo.

It’s something Hopkins says she started doing as a form a therapy when she was dealing with depression. 

“Slowly, like this kind of helped me crawl out of that head space, and into a space of just gratitude, and joy, and love,” she said.

She paints things that makes her feel those happy emotions, things you can’t help but smile at she said, as she held up a rock with a bright cloud and a rainbow smiley face painted on it.

“How cute is this guy? Look how cute these guys are,” she said. 

On the other side of the rock are hand painted messages.  One read, “Be Kind.”

Hopkins read a few other, “Take it one moment at a time. Or --just breathe.” Also, “Keep your mind healthy.”

These are the messages, Hopkins says she reminds herself to do a lot these days as the world deals with a pandemic.  Another message, “Have patience.” 

Each rock has a unique message.

The mom says when friends or strangers find the rocks, “I really hope it makes them smile. And brings a little light to whoever finds the rocks, especially right now during such a hard time.”

Or she says maybe it can provide something to take your frustrations out on. 

“Sometimes that’s what you need. You gotta kick a rock,” she said.

And she says hopefully – even in just a small way – these rocks can help make the world a better place. 

“We know it’s just a rock. But even just a rock, can you know, have a chain of events, or have a domino effect, and maybe create more kindness.”

Kindness Hopkins says she hopes her kids will continue to help spread throughout their lives.

So far the family has hidden about 600 rocks. Hopkins says most of the rocks have been taken home by the people who find them.