A Port St. Lucie police officer says his world was "rocked" when two little girls approached him a few weeks ago.
“They came up and gave me this beautiful little rock,” he says. “And they were the most precious little things.”
The message was a meaningful one: "Back the Blue."
“This is definitely going to stay in my passenger seat for a long time,” said Port St. Lucie Officer Robert Penney.
The officer is the latest person to be touched by a phenomenon sweeping the area.
The trend of painting and hiding rocks isn't new, but you can credit Cindy Rhude and her family for taking the idea to a whole new level locally.
“I’m surprised it's gotten this big,” she says.
Their movement grew on social media over the last month, gaining thousands of followers on Facebook in Martin County.
The idea soon spread. Now you can find groups from Port Saint Lucie to Loxahatchee joining in with hundreds of posts per week dedicated to the rocks.
However, the overall impact is immeasurable.
“A lot of friendships have been made over this, having rock parties and just getting together,” Rhude said.
That message of togetherness, hope, and love is not lost on the people who get their hands on one.
A proud Penney is now ready to pay it forward.
“I’m probably going to have my kids paint one and give it to somebody else, that way we might pass on the tradition or start one,” said Penney.
Rhude said she and her daughter are working to compile all the amazing stories to come out of the craze into a book.
She also says they are working on a program to send rocks to people serving in the military.