Only in Indiana: Brownsburg boy reminds community it "rocks"


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Most people have wanted in some small way to try to make the world a little better. Now, one 9 year old is doing that with Brownsburg Rocks.

Christy Wrede Haugen asked her 9-year-old son, Harlan, if he was excited when he got home from school one day.

"Yes," answered Harlan. "I was not expecting this."

He was not expecting a television camera to be waiting for him at the bus stop.

Harlan goes to school and plays baseball, but between those two things, he has another hobby. And it is currently rocking Brownsburg.

Brownsburg Rocks is a trend Harlan brought to Brownsburg to do something positive and uplifting.

People decorate rocks with encouraging and positive messages, then leave them around town for others to find.

"Some of the messages are 'stop bullying,' 'help a cure for cancer,' 'thank all the veterans who served' and all of that," Harlan said.

After decorating the rocks, Harlan and others hid them around town.

"They have been hidden at nursing homes, at hospitals, on sidewalks, everywhere. Just random places. Not really being hidden, just hidden in plain site," said Christy.

Harlan's mother is glad to see her son is making a positive difference in the community.

"I'm so proud that this has turned into something, and (proud) of him for wanting to start this for a good reason," said Christy. And it seems like these kind gestures are only growing. Christy said there are now thousands of Brownburg Rocks around the community now.

Debbie Osborn's grandchildren look for the rocks in their free time.

"When kids get out of school, they start looking for them," Osborn said. She explained that on the back of each rock is a note to post a photo to the Brownburg Rocks Facebook page if found.

The rocks started out as something fun and silly for people to do, but it took on special meaning when a young girl in town was victimized by bullying. Rocks started showing up, showing love and support for her.

"I think it's awesome a rock can cheer up someone's day," Harlan said.

The trend has now spread to Greenwood and Lebanon as well.

"Soon we will change it to Hendricks County because of how big it's getting," Harlan envisioned.

Harlan is doing his best to show everyone Brownsburg rocks. And so does he.

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