GARDNER — Following the passing of her husband, Lowell resident Shirley Archambault is spreading kindness in his memory through her Kindness Rocks project.
In 2020, Archambault’s husband Ron fell into a coma after contracting COVID-19 and died of complications from the virus. Archambault said she missed her husband everyday and all she wanted was to keep his memory alive for as long as she could.
“He was such a good man to everyone, and his family and friends all loved him,” Archambault said. “I want to continue to spread the love and care he gave us when he was here. Ron’s memory deserves to continue.”
Laura Pelletier de Gardner is Archambault’s childhood friend and she assisted Archambault throughout the creation of the Lowell Rocks project.
“I just want to see Shirley smile,” Pelletier said. “She’s been through a lot with Ron’s death and with the long life-changing COVID-19, I just want to make her happy and make her smile.”
Archambault had the idea of starting Lowell Rocks for the past two years, but was never able to push himself to do so. Until Monday, May 9, when Archambault shared his first post on the Lowell Rocks Facebook page with the hashtag Ron’s Rocks.
Craft and paint each stone by hand
Archambault molds and hand paints each stone with a word, pattern, logo or cartoon of their choice. The stones are distributed to Pelletier, other close friends and family members for hiding in several communities in central Massachusetts.
“Ron’s rocks are everywhere, not just Lowell, we’ve had people find them in Boston, even Florida,” Archambault said. “There is a rock that ended up in Greece. Ron’s love is spreading everywhere.”
Pelletier said she began hiding Lowell’s Kindness Stones in the Greater Gardner community.
“When we hide a new batch of rocks, we post a photo that shows where the rocks are so people can find them,” Pelletier said. “We’re also asking people to take a photo with the rocks when they find them to share on Facebook with the hashtag Ron’s Rocks.”
Of the hundreds of rocks Archambault created by hand and Pelletier hid, only a small percentage of the rocks have been found.
“We only saw a handful of found rocks because we can tell by how many posts are shared with the hashtag,” Archambault said. “We really can’t have hard numbers, but I like to think more people are finding the rocks and not posting about it.”
how to help
The two women said that if anyone from the great Gardner community wants to help Archambault continue to spread Ron’s legacy, they should contact Pelletier on Facebook at Laura Renaud Pelletier to donate supplies or to share messages. on Facebook with the hashtag Ron’s Rocks.