A young boy is about US$200 (RM936) away from reaching his goal of funds raised for a cause he is passionate about, all thanks to painted rocks.
Retired teachers Judy Gregory and her husband sell jam at the Greeley Farmers’ Market in Greeley, Colorado, the United States, sometimes bringing along their 10-year-old grandson, Kobe, who lends a helping hand.
At last season’s farmer’s market, Kobe noticed kids selling goods like lemonade. As a result, he came up with the idea to form a side business called Kindness Rocks and bring back a past hobby.
During the pandemic, Kobe lived with his grandparents in Greeley. Gregory said that one activity the family would do together included painting rocks with words of encouragement and then taking their creations door-to-door in their neighbourhood.
Now, Kobe’s rocks for sale at the Farmers’ Market display words such as “Smile,” “Joy,” “Inspire,” “Bloom” and more.
Instead of collecting money for himself through his side hustle, Kobe’s focus and passion is on providing additional funding for Freedom Service Dogs.
The organisation provides clients, including veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), children and teens with neurocognitive disabilities and people with physical challenges with custom-trained assistance dogs.
But this wasn’t his first time giving back to non-profits.
Early on, Kobe’s grandparents began teaching him lessons about possessions and giving back. For his birthdays, instead of presents, Kobe started to ask for money, which he would then donate to specific causes.
Gregory said that by the time he was six, Kobe had donated to the Humane Society of the United States, an animal welfare organisation, and Colorado-based Weld Food Bank for his birthdays.
Eventually, Kobe, a World War II junkie, found Freedom Service Dogs. On his 9th birthday, he raised US$200 (RM936) for the organisation, according to Gregory.
“He wanted to make another big donation,” Gregory said about Kindness Rocks supporting the cause.
Kobe’s business is donation-based, according to Gregory, meaning he doesn’t have a price tag on his rocks; rather he allows people to pay whatever they wish for his current cause.
“It’s amazing some of the generosity people have given,” Gregory said about Farmers’ Market attendees.
So far, Kobe has made nearly US$300 (RM1,404) for the organisation after only a few visits to the Farmers’ Market. His goal is to make US$500 (RM2,340).
When people stop by the Kindness Rocks table, Gregory said Kobe is excited to share his story and provide information about Freedom Service Dogs.
While he is not at every farmer’s market because he lives in Lafayette, Colarado with his mother, Gregory assured the community that he will return a few more times before the season ends.
“It’s a really neat project for him,” she said. “It’s been heartwarming to watch.” – Greely Tribune/Tribune News Service