Kindness Rocks at the Aberdeen Hospital Gratitude Garden

COVID-19 Featured Online First

Calling all artists, creative-types and anyone looking to show support to health care workers. The Aberdeen Health Foundation and Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary are creating a Gratitude Garden at the hospital. This can be a great project for the whole family. 

Everyone is invited to paint rocks with fun and encouraging messages for hospital staff as a way to show support and gratitude for all they are doing today, and every day. 

Once you’ve beautified a rock, take a picture and send it to For now a virtual garden will be created on Facebook. When the government COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, head to the hospital and place your rock in the Gratitude Garden. The hope is to fill the rock garden with colour, warmth and positivity. The Garden will be located just outside the main entrance of the hospital.

“As the old saying goes, taking time to smell the flowers is important,” says Carolyn Langille, Gift Shop co-ordinator for the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary. “Taking time to thank those who make a difference is also important. While most of us are being told to stay safe in our homes, The Aberdeen Hospital health care workers are front and centre. This Gratitude Garden is our way to say THANK YOU.”

“During this challenging and uncertain time it has been heartening to see the remarkable acts of generosity and kindness that have sprung up across our community,” says the Aberdeen Health Foundation’s  executive director, Michelle Ferris. “I want to thank the many individuals and businesses that have reached out with offers of support for our health care workers. Every act of caring is a boost to those on the frontlines. Every painted stone in the Gratitude Garden will serve as a lasting tribute to the selfless dedication that we are all benefiting from during this time.”

The idea for the Gratitude Garden was inspired by St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation in Antigonish. 

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Since she was unable to go to school during the pandemic and with extra time on her hands, 11-year-old Kenzie MacPherson began spreading kindness and hope around her neighbourhood. She painted rocks, putting messages of hope on them and would then anonymously place them on neighbour’s doorway or driveway. Kenzie is now turning her attention and talent to the new Gratitude Garden at the Aberdeen Hospital.