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Madelyn Bubb spreads love and kindness through her kindness garden

“I smile as much as possible to spread love and kindness. My mom says it’s contagious.” 

Madelyn Bubb’s goal is to spread as much love and kindness as she possibly can, and it was with her kindness garden that she began spreading that kindness last spring when the pandemic began here in South Carolina.

Madelyn, a fifth-grade student who has been with Greenville County School’s virtual program this past year, knew she needed to do something to lift the spirits of her friends and neighbors when everything shut down last March. She and her younger brother began painting kindness rocks with positive messages on them.

That small act has turned into bright and uplifting rocks all over her neighborhood, including several centered around the neighborhood pavilion. She leaves painted rocks for people to find, or she presents them to people to help them smile. 

“It’s neat to see when a rock is ‘missing’ because that means someone needed it,” Madelyn said. 

Madelyn’s mom, Liana, said she, like most parents, was concerned about how her children would react to the world shutting down. But Madelyn took it as a call to action and immediately knew she wanted to create something.

“Madelyn wasn’t thinking of herself. She wanted others to know we would get through this with kindness. So, she started coloring the driveway and painting rocks,” Liana said.

The caring nature Madelyn exhibits at home extends to her virtual classroom as well. According to her teacher, Billie Jo Coleman, Madelyn is an exemplary student who always has an upbeat attitude.

“It is difficult to express your compassion in a virtual setting, however, Madelyn does,” Coleman said. “It is evident that she truly cares about her classmates. Each day this child attends class with a smile on her face.” 

Madelyn’s kindness garden is still going strong and neighbors have also been leaving painted rocks of encouragement for others to find. It would seem that Madelyn’s mother was right – spreading love and kindness is contagious.

When she grows up, Madelyn hopes to become a professional ballerina and graphic designer who spreads joy everywhere she goes.