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"Rocks of Hope" Brings Awareness to Addiction
Written by Abigail Clifford, Correspondent

                On Thursday, August 2, campers at the New Goshenhoppen Day Camp picked up their paint brushes and participated in the newest trend striking

Cathy Hummel Fried, Project Live Executive Director, and

Will Pike, Project Live President, present information on 

substance abuse disorders to campers between activities.

communities across the country in hopes of raising early awareness to drug addiction.

                Volunteers from Project Live, an organization that aims to help educate and assist those who suffer from substance abuse disorder in the Upper Perkiomen Valley, presented information to the campers on the importance of understanding addiction, recognizing the signs and how to help those who are struggling.

                "Addiction changes people, we want people to be inspired enough to make it through their lowest points," stated Will Pike, Project Live Board President.

                Through a series of exercises, campers ranging in age from sixth to eighth grade interacted with each other to stimulate conversation on values and what addiction

New Goshenhoppen Day Campers created their own paint-

ed rocks for Project Live's "Rocks of Hope" community 

service mission last Thursday at the Church Park.  The 

rocks were hidden around the park in hopes of inspiring

others to seek help if they are struggling with addiction.

entails, all leading up to the final "Rocks of Hope" activity.

                In recent months, the trend of painting rocks has struck communities across the nation. The activity is a simple process, individuals paint rocks with colorful designs, images, or inspiring messages and hide them in their town in hopes of being found.

                The idea behind hiding the painted rocks is for others to find them and re-hide them in a different location to be found again.

                "Painting rocks has been around so many places; I'd like to say we are the forefront of it, but in reality we are so far behind," stated Pike.

                Project Live decided to jump on the painting rocks band-wagon with their own twist called 'Rocks of Hope," putting inspirational messages and designs on the rocks created by the New Goshenhoppen Day Campers themselves.

                "For someone to find these rocks, an inspirational message could really mean something to them; so by putting these rocks out we want to show support and love from community members," stated Cathy Fried, Project Live Executive Director.

                The back of each rock is labeled with "" so those who find the rocks can feel inspired and get help if they are suffering from substance abuse disorder.

                "I wanted to do something different than our typical mission and I wanted to show the kids that something simple that they do can have a far reach; it's definitely creative and unique," stated Matthew Eastwood, New Goshenhoppen Director and Administrator of Camping Programs.

                Campers each painted five rocks, three to hide in the New Goshenhoppen Church Park and two for the kids to place where they want in the community with the help of their parents.

                "It's a good thing, when other people find the rocks, maybe it will make them feel happy and want to paint their own," stated 12-year-old camper Tyler Brenenborg, "I'd definitely do it again and encourage others to do it too."

                Project Live is currently working in the area to recreate this activity for other campers and to help spread more awareness on substance abuse disorder.

                "When I was growing up, we never talked about addiction and we never really knew how to approach it; so showing the kids at an early age is really important," stated Kelly Osada, 21-year-old  New Goshenhoppen Camp Counselor.

                Project Live is also working to establish a "Painted Rock Garden" that will hopefully be located at the Senior Center in East Greenville.

                "Our office is located on the lower level of the Senior Center. They like the idea of creating a "Rocks of Hope" garden, but we have yet to fully flesh out the plan," stated Fried.

                Project Live will be doing another "Rocks of Hope" project at the Perk School's day of community service in September.

                "The whole goal of Project Live is that we meet with families who have issues with addiction and we help support those who are struggling themselves to give them resources to find the help they need," stated Fried.

                For those who are interested in Project Live or are seeking help, visit or contact them at for more information.





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