You’ve probably seen these rocks before — scattered across Fort Myers. No two are alike, each one is unique.
“The way I see it is when somebody finds it and they look it at it," Beth Jacoby said, "they smile and we brighten their day."
Jacoby and Johnna Helmdtetler are behind Fort Myers Rocks. These humans of SWFL have a goal to bring smiles one rock at a time.
Their passion for rock painting started two years ago.
“I was in Texas visiting my mom,” Helmdtetler said. “She was recently diagnosed with cancer, so she was going on to her chemotherapy. Found a rock that had the word, ‘hope,’ on it in pink. I discovered with my mom that it just brought little blessings to her and it made her happy to see this.”
When Helmdtetler came back, Jacoby and her decided to start the rock project. Now, almost 4,000 rocks later, the pair is bringing “kindness, love and hope” to the community.
“We just started our new project and it’s called 'Sharing Love, Sharing Smiles,' Jacoby said. "And basically, what we want to do is to focus on the schools."
Jacoby and Helmdtetler donated rocks, paint brushes and paint to a school in Cape Coral. The paint club started soon afterward. But the pair has a larger goal than the one paint club. They have ambitions of having rock paint clubs for all the schools around Southwest Florida.
“It’s really two-fold,” Jacoby said. “It’s getting rock supplies to the schools so they can start a club. And then it’s getting the rocks to people who want to paint, but can’t afford it.”
“They don’t have to tell us the reason, they just tell us they want to do it," Helmstetler said. "Beth meets them, gives it to them - it’s all anonymous. No questions asked."
So why do they do this?
“What I hope is that it brings the family together and that they get to paint rocks together and spend family time together,” Helmstetler said.
“And it’s so fun,” Jacoby said. “I mean you can do whatever you want. So that’s really what my passion is - reaching out to people and the kids so that they can enjoy it just like we do.”
You can reach out to Jacoby and Helmdtetler on their Facebook page. They don’t need money, just supplies to share their passion.
“This is who we are," Helmstetler said, "and this is what we do."