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Rock garden offers kindness and encouragement for Kenmore Mercy Staff

The rock garden has grown from less than 10 rocks a month ago to 200 today

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Small acts of kindness can grow pretty quickly, if they're planted in the right places. About a month ago, colorful rocks started showing up in a garden by the back entrance of Kenmore Mercy Hospital, where staff members go in and out of the building for work each day. 

The rocks all have messages of encouragement, support and hope for the doctors, nurses and associates. Spokesperson Dawn Cwierley says it started with less than 10 rocks, created by an artist who wants to remain anonymous. Now, there are about 200 rocks and counting. 

"It's a sense of encouragement that everybody needs during these difficult times," she told 2 On Your Side. "As I'm walking out, I see doctors, nurses, all sorts of associates stopping, taking photos, posting them on Facebook. It shows how much it means to them and it shows how one little act of kindness can go so far to encourage people."

This all falls on National Hospital Week, which coincides with Florence Nightingale's birthday. The founder of modern nursing would have turned 200 on Tuesday, May 12. 

Cwierley said Nightingale is a source of inspiration for anyone that works in a hospital, including technicians, environmental and food service workers, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, office staff and volunteers.

"With Hospital Week this year in particular, it is a time to show thanks for all of those hard working associates at all of the hospitals," she said. "People think about nurses, and our nurses are amazing individuals, but there are so many people throughout our hospital that make up this team and make it possible for our hospital to function every single day and they're all heroes." 

To learn more about National Hospital Week, visit this link from the American Hospital Association. 

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