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Vi Flood spreads kindness through painted boards

Vi Flood spreads kindness through painted boards

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Vi Flood of Schuyler has thank you notes all over her house from people who found one of her painted rocks or received a kindness board.

Flood paints rocks and leaves them places to brighten other's day. Earlier this year, she started kindness boards for people to pass on with kind messages.

“I painted one rock and left it up there at the beach … near Yankton,” Flood said. “This little girl found it. I had put the word grace on the back and it ended up that her name is Grace…and her grandmother told me that she was so excited she found a rock with her name on it.”

Flood has all kinds of stories like that, she said.

She started the boards because she thought people needed encouragement in 2020, but now it’s to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. She will take a board and state on the back that it is a "kindness board."

She gives instructions – keep the boards for one week and before passing it on, write a kindness message on the back. The board gets passed on for a given period, which right now is eight weeks. At the end of the eight weeks, the person who ends up with it gets to keep it.

“I want to lift people’s spirits during this virus thing and give people encouragement,” Flood said.

This sort of thing is nothing new for Flood. She used to own a flower shop and would give flowers away randomly. She also used to dress up as a clown and go to the nursing home to try to lift the residents' spirits.

Her daughter, Schuyler City Clerk Lora Johnson, said she has always been a giver.

“She’s just a caring loving person who you know is always thinking of others,” Johnson said. “She’s always been an artist but just random acts of kindness have always been I think part of her life and an example she even set for me.”

One time Johnson found one of the rocks Flood left and it brightened her day.

“I knew my mom had been there,” she said.

For Flood, the goal is to bless people.

“I give all my artwork away,” Flood said. “That’s my whole motive is just to bring blessing to other people and happiness and that’s what I do.”

She's been an artist her entire life.

“I’ve always painted or drawn ever since I was a child, my family can tell you. I’m always painting, I’m always drawing, always creating something. It’s just a God-given talent I guess that God gave me,” Flood said. “That’s why I want to bless other people. I believe we have to bless other people with the gifts that God gives us.”

She noted that her family is supportive of her.

“My husband is very kind and lets me do all this, encourages me to do it. I got a lot of family support from my kids,” Flood said.

Her husband often helps her pick up rocks, she said, or others just give her rocks to paint.

One day, in Yankton, South Dakota, Flood was looking for paint and struck up a conversation with a woman. They both bonded over painting rocks, she said, and before Flood left the parking lot the woman gave her a whole bag of rocks.

“It’s just amazing how I get them,” Flood said. “God just seems to make it possible for me to do it all.”

Flood plans to be painting boards into the future, and said she has already painted some for later months. 

"I live my life this way because of Jesus Christ in me," she said.

Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at carolyn.komatsoulis@lee.net

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