Today’s Pay it Forward post is a little different than some of my past posts, as it is not a charity but an incredible social movement. Introduced to me by my friend Nasreen, the idea behind Because I Said I Would is quite simple: people across the world are writing promises down on little while cards and keeping their promises simply because they said they would.
Alex Sheen- Founder of Because I Said I Would
On September 4th, 2012, Alex Sheen’s father died of small cell lung cancer. At his funeral, Alex delivered the eulogy. In trying to remember his father by the fact that he always kept his promises, Alex came up with the idea of promise cards. The cards were blank in the front except for the bottom right corner on which “because I said I would” was printed.
After the funeral, Alex began a Facebook page where he promised to mail 10 cards for free anywhere in the world to whomever wanted them. In the first 18 months of the campaign, Alex and some volunteers mailed out over 1.7 Million promise cards to over 105 different countries.
Some of the promises made and kept have been small ones like a child promising to sleep in her own room or a teenager who promised to not text while driving. Some of the promises have been incredibly moving. A young man named Matthew Cordle killed a man while driving drunk. He knew he was at fault and promised to plead guilty in order to raise awareness towards the dangers of drunk driving. Matthew and Alex published a confession video to youtube that in the end sealed his fate. He was convicted and is currently serving 6.5 years in prison. Here is the video:
On June 22, 2014, one year after that fateful accident that killed Vincent Canzani, Alex Sheen, stood outside a bar and offered drunk people rides home. He also offered to safely drive them back to their cars the next morning. He did this in honour of Vincent Canzani and accepted no money or tips. One woman left $30 behind which was donated to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.
How Can You Participate?
Because I Said I Would is a social movement taking place on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can join in by simply making and keeping your own promises in honour of Alex Sheen’s father and all the people who taught you it is important to be a good person. You can also follow along on Alex Sheen’s blog as he fulfills a promise he made at the start of 2014 to volunteer with 52 organizations this year.
Want to Help Keep the Movement Going?
Because I Said I Would will be hosting an inaugural event on September 6, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. The purpose of the event is to bring together non-profits, speakers who have become part of Because I Said I Would as well as people just like you and me who are able to volunteer across the world to help the non-profits. Because I Said I Would has invited 30 nonprofit organizations to host booths recruiting volunteers and hopes to register commitments for over 15,000 hours of volunteer service at the event.
A YouTube video series will also be created where 50 videos will be made in the hopes of reaching over 5,000,000 views in total. Because I Said I Would is currently running an IndieGoGo Campaign and accepting donations towards the event in exchange for some pretty neat things like tickets to the event, a Skype session with Alex Sheen and those cool Because I Said I Would Tshirts you see everyone wearing in the YouTube videos. For more on the IndieGoGo Campaign and Because I Said I Would, watch the following video:
Don’t want to donate? Spread The Word!
If you are not interested in donating, the best way to help is to spread the word. Post this blog on Facebook or Pinterest, tweet it, or email it to your friends.
Pay It Forward Friday
Do you know an organization that should be featured in Pay It Forward Friday? I’m always looking to help spread the word on ways travellers can help locals, the environment or animals while on vacation. Leave a comment on this post or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honour of today’s post I promise to continue dedicating each Friday on my blog to non-profits and charities that benefit from social media promotion. Each Friday as I introduce you to another charity, know that I am doing so because I said I would.
Photo Credit: All photos for this post are credited to becauseisaidiwould.com.