HAMPTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – As schools started announcing they were closing and the order came down for non-essential businesses to close, Liz Saraceno of Hampton Township wondered how she would preoccupy her two young children.

Liz ran to the store to get essentials but also grabbed a bunch of art supplies.

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That’s when an idea popped into her head.

“I’ll give you the supplies. I give you some paint, some paintbrushes, some glitter, some stickers. We started with just taking supplies to houses we knew had children. We thought it would be a fun project for them,” Liz told KDKA’s Heather Abraham. Along with the supplies was a note, inviting families to find a rock and paint it.

“We didn’t think it would take off as much as it did,” said Liz. But not long after supplies were dropped off, brightly colored rocks with positive messages started to pop up in her neighbors’ front yards.

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“I was really surprised too because it wasn’t just beautiful pictures on rocks, but it was a lot of uplifting and positive messages.”

The rocks have attracted others to their neighborhood.

“We have a lot of people from other neighborhoods who are coming around our block, just to walk through and see all of the different pictures on the rocks. It’s taking their mind off of what’s going on right now.”

As with others, the coronavirus and subsequent change of normalcy has become a teaching moment for the Saraceno family.

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“I think it’s good just to show my daughters that when we’re dealing with a tough time like this, that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, or something to be thankful of, and show appreciation of, and just smile, just smile.”

Heather Abraham