Painted rocks spreading joy through Elgin

ELGIN, Ill. -- A pair of siblings have started a happiness movement throughout Elgin and beyond with colorfully painted rocks.

It all started when Aubree Estrada, 10 and her brother, Bryan Estrada, 11 found a painted rock with #ValpoRocks on it while visiting her aunt in Valparaiso, Indiana.

"I looked down and saw a lady bug painted rock and thought now that is cool," said Aubree.

"They couldn't wait to get home and join the Elgin group, but then found out Elgin didn't have one," said their mother Jen Estrada.

So they started their own Facebook group called "ElginILRocks".

It's an offshoot of the "Kindness Rocks Project which started in Massachusetts in 2016 and has spread across the country and abroad.

The Elgin group started up with about 40 of Jen's friends and neighbors but eventually local artists signed up too.

"They started painting extravagant things, that's where it kind of just blew up," said Estrada.

The Facebook page now has more than 1,500 members.

"I think it's so awesome that so many people in Elgin have found the page and follow it," said Bryan.

There are no strict rules but Jen Estrada says she encourages everyone to add #ElginILRocks Facebook so the artists can see when their rock has been found.

"You can do whatever you want. If you love it and you think it's so cool that you want to put it on your mantle, totally keep it," she said.

But Estrada hopes people will try and paint their own rock and keep spreading the joy.

The rocks are hidden like treasures throughout town. Some have inspirational quotes and messages while others just have a beautiful design to inspire happiness and kindness.

Aubree says she gets a lot of her design ideas online, "but sometimes the rock will just look like something, so I paint," she said.