May 2021 Worldwide Newsletter

How to Be the Only One

Sometimes keeping a promise means being the only one in a room who is willing to step forward. There are many situations in life where our values are tested against the tide of popularity. Embarrassment, fear and hesitation ask us to stay put and stay quiet. That could include moments of conflict like when…

  • someone is bullying another person.
  • a stranger uses the N-word.
  • a family member is texting and driving.

It can be hard to speak up in these situations. How do we motivate ourselves to do what is right when the moment is so uncomfortable?

Check out our new article covering 3 habits that can be helpful in these moments. Read the Habits »


Grants Available for
School Assemblies

Ten Grants Available for 2021-2022

To introduce our mission to new audiences, we have ten grants available for 2021-2022 school-year kickoff assemblies! After a tough year, because I said I would wants to help students in your community build a culture of compassion and personal responsibility.

Alex Sheen, 5-time TEDxTalk speaker, delivers our assemblies personally and has designed a hybrid speech that enables in-person and remote audiences at the same time. Middle schools and high schools in the United States who meet one or more of the following criteria will be strongly considered:

  • Communities where 70% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • School districts that can schedule multiple school assemblies in a single day (e.g. 2 middle schools and a high school)
  • Schools who have experienced the loss of a student’s life
  • Schools who apply after May 24th, 2021

Do you know a school that could benefit from this social and emotional learning opportunity? Forward the link to this page and tell them to mention “school grant email” in the Event Description field when they fill out the short online form.

Thank you to our donors who have made these assemblies possible. Does your school not qualify? 100% of Alex’s speaking fees goes to the charity and we would still love to connect. Learn more here.Request an Assembly »

Support Character Development

2021 Annual Fund Campaign

It started as a simple idea.

Nearly nine years ago, it started as a simple idea. Write a promise on a card and use it as a symbol of your honor, an easy way to remind people of the importance of a promise.

13.1 million Promise Cards later, because I said I would is a social movement like no other. We didn’t just stop at providing Promise Cards though. In the years since, we have centered our focus on youth, adult and correctional programs across the United States. Although these programs require many resources to run, we have seen firsthand how a single promise can change a life forever. For instance:

  • Over 179,000 students have participated in our character development programs, leading to promises that improve mental health
  • Criminal offenders committed to our programs are being driven away from a life of crime, thereby reducing recidivism
  • 20,000 face masks sewn by 270 volunteers to help hospitals reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic

Without the help of generous people like you, we would struggle to continue providing these programs. The further our reach, the more people we can impact — imagine a world where everyone kept their promises.

Will you donate to help fund our programs? 100% of your Annual Fund gift goes directly to our programs.

Donate Now »

Promise Story

Remembering LJ

“LJ was born with Down syndrome and was one of the sweetest and happiest people that you would ever meet,” remembers his mother Tamela. LJ came into the world on June 6, 1992 and died of COVID-19 on October 27, 2020 at 28 years old. The loss has been tough on Tamela’s family as LJ was her oldest child and only son. He had his own special way of loving the family.

Our organization wants to help families through the grieving process, so participants in our Unemployment Transition Program complete a capstone project focused on supporting families who have lost loved ones to COVID. Tamela was paired with Teresa, a participant who lost her position in the nonprofit sector during the concurring economic crisis. Teresa used her skills in pottery to sculpt a beautiful flower vase in memory of LJ keeping her promise to a family who wants the world to know and remember that he mattered.

Teresa reflected on her capstone work and shared “This project helped me to do a bit of grieving for my own brother who was my best friend. His funeral was three days before I left for my freshman year at Ohio State. I was not able to grieve with my family and in many ways my grieving was delayed.”

People who volunteer are 27% more likely to get a job compared to those who don’t according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Our six-week Unemployment Transition Program provides persons unemployed by COVID-19 with leadership training, networking opportunities and a capstone project like Teresa’s.

If you know anyone who has lost their job in the pandemic, our next program cohort starts on June 14th. Learn more and apply here.
Join or Share this Program »