Guest article: Merced Rocks continues to rock…and now they RAK too!

Article submitted by Christine Aston

MercedROCKS! was started about 5 months ago and went from 70 members to a whopping 5,500 in no time flat. All the members are here to Make Merced Great Again One Rock at A Time. On June 30th they held their first Rak Rok Day. Rak=Random Act of Kindness day. Members went around town to shop owners, friends, Merced P.D., Sheriff, Fire Department just to name a few. Smiles were spread all around town and what started out as one day has turned into members doing Random Acts of Kindness every day.

Since this day there have been several other events such as BBQs, kid-only hunts, friend lunches, raffles, auctions etc.

MercedROCKS! first ever Art Exhibit event was held on July 15th, but it took several weeks to prepare for. Lots of drawing and erasing & layering paint schemes. There were many entries, 27 kids and 76 adults to be exact! It made it very hard for the judges to decide the winners! First Place went to May Saephan, Second Place went to Nicole Espinoza and Third place went to Lilibeth Jiminez in the Adult category. There were winners in the kids section too, but all entire were winners in our books! I’ll let the pictures of all the smiling faces tell their stories

Aside from all the joy, friendships are being made around town. DJ Jones also started a fund for the Mariposa Fire victims. They held auctions of painted rocks to raise money for the evacuation center in Planada. So many people donated that the store was over-flowing with food and household items that the town and families needed. People donated their cash, time, love, cars & trucks just to name a few things.

The love that this group has shown towards the town and its people is amazing!

I for one can’t wait to see just how much this group/family can do for the morale and spirit of Merced! We should all Make Merced Great Again.

Quote from DJ Jones Owner of Aloha Floral and co-creator of @MercedROCKS! Created with Juanita Houston(in regards to Art Exhibit):

Today was an EPIC Day! 1 for the History Books!!! I can’t even begin to tell you all how grateful I am and how proud I am to know you all and have you as part of Merced ROCKS! Like I told Juanita again Today, who would have thought 4 months ago having a conversation would turn into this Beautiful thing we call Merced ROCKS!? I love seeing all the new friendships that have blossomed and all the happy faces and the laughter I got to see and hear today!! It makes me so humble and proud to know that I had a little something to do with That! You Guys ROCK!!! And Thank You all for making Today so Amazing!!!! I love you Merced ROCKERS!!!❤

Quote from Barbara Butler: What does @MercedROCKS! mean to you?

Family time together, talking, listening, no electronics, imaginations running wild, calmness in the house. Anticipation about finding, and finally hiding the rocks for perfect strangers to find.

Quote from Danielle Tejeda: What does @MercedROCKS! Mean to you?

The people, the creativity, the bonding with my daughters, watching my girls talents grow, discovering new things about myself…I’m very reserved so meeting new is great therapy.