COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thousands of people from across the world are working to keep Faye Swetlik’s memory alive by painting kindness rocks in her honor.
One week ago, a South Carolina woman started a Facebook group called “Rocks for Faye.” The group now has more than 4,000 members, some from as far away as Australia.
Julie Vollnogle grew up in Lexington County and says when she heard about this tragedy in the Cayce community she felt helpless. She says she read online that Faye liked art and collecting rocks, so she put the two together and formed “Rocks for Faye.”
“I had no idea that it would take off like this, that it would spread like wildfire and that other people in other parts of the state and country and now the world would want to participate. It’s kind of taken on a life of its own," said Vollnogle.
One week since it’s founding, “Rocks for Faye” has reached people all across the U.S. and even in Europe. It’s also giving people a tangible way to grieve. “It was humbling to see that in the midst of tragedy and in the midst of something horrific and unimaginable that there’s still good in the world, and that there’s still good in people and that when tragedy happens, we can come together and try to figure out a way to get the joy out of a situation that way if it’s possible, "said Amber Corbett, a member of “Rocks for Faye.”
Vollnogle says Faye’s grandmother actually joined the “Rocks for Faye” group and wrote a post saying how thankful she is that thousands of people are painting rocks in honor of little Faye.
“I hope this not only honors Faye’s memory and allows her to travel to places she never got to travel, but I hope it brings awareness to other missing children," said Vollnogle.
A bucket of rocks has been placed at Faye’s Memorial in Churchill Heights for people who want to get involved, and organizations across the midlands are hosting rock painting events in honor of Faye.
You don’t have to be creative to participate. Vollnogle says all you have to do is paint a rock a bright color and write #RocksforFaye on the back of the rock. Then. hide the rock in a park, playground or busy area. If you find a Faye rock, organizers ask that you take a picture of it and then hide it in a new location.
Art Smart Academy in Irmo is hosting a free event for people in the community to paint rocks in Faye’s honor Saturday, February 22nd from 10 a.m. to 8 pm. and also Sunday, February 23rd from 23 p.m. to 5 p.M.
- Public memorial service held of Faye Marie Swetlik
- Autopsy reveals heartbreaking details of 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik’s death
- Cayce community holds vigil to remember 6-year-old Faye Swetlik
- New videos show Faye Swetlik’s bubbly personality as the community continues to mourn
- ‘We miss you Faye’: Teacher reflects on memories with Faye Swetlik