HUNTINGTON - Over 100 rocks with inspirational words and phrases painted on them by the West Virginia chapter of Women of AT&T and other community members will soon be distributed throughout the United States, and potentially internationally, to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
West Virginia WOA members and other community members gathered Wednesday at the AT&T Call Center in Huntington to celebrate National WOA Day by painting rocks, collecting donations and raising awareness throughout the community.
The WOA Rocks concept involves decorating small rocks with painted phrases like, "You are beautiful," and placing them in random areas throughout the country for others to find and be inspired by.
In addition to rocks being placed by community members, many will be shared among members at AT&T's September employee resource groups conference to ensure rocks are placed in various regions of the country - and possibly in other countries.
WOA Rocks was initially inspired by the idea of a WOA president from Alaska, Lindsay Lee, president of West Virginia WOA, said.
"One of our presidents from Alaska had a daughter who lost her best friend to suicide, and they actually started 'Alaska Rocks,'" Lee said. "Our national president got word of it and thought it was a great initiative."
The group also has a Facebook page called "WOA Rocks," Lee said, to encourage those who find a rock to post about it, explaining when and where it was discovered.
"On the Facebook page, you'll see things like people traveling to Hawaii and bringing along a rock to place," Lee said. "We hope it helps with suicide prevention, inspiration and just provides people with something positive."
As part of National WOA Day, the West Virginia WOA chapter's celebration included collecting donations for the Golden Girl Group Home, a nonprofit group based in Ceredo, and free cookies for community members.
"We are taking donated items and raising funds for the girls (of Golden Girl Group Home) to help them pay their bills and to flourish in their community," Lee said.
"Today, we are doing random acts of kindness," Pagett Dusic, vice president of West Virginia WOA, said. "It's just one of those nice pick-me-ups for when someone is having a rough day."