“Because I said I would” movement comes to Comal ISD once again
Comal ISD received a special visit from Alex Sheen on September 27, one that students from all four high schools and seven middle schools will not forget. Sheen is the founder of the worldwide social movement “because I said I would,” a nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept.
It was the death of Sheen’s father Al, the man he looked up to most in life, that sparked the worldwide movement that is being filled one promise at a time today. While delivering Al’s eulogy in 2012 after he lost a courageous battle with cancer, Alex gave the first of many “Because I said I would” speeches.
“My father was an average man. He didn’t write books or run marathons, he was just a pharmacist in a hospital for 25 years.” Sheen told a group of more than 600 students and Canyon High School staff at an assembly on September 27. “He was average, unnoticeable, except for one thing. He was a man of his word. When he said he was going to be there for you, he showed up.”
Shortly after Al’s funeral, Sheen made a post online that went viral. He said he would mail 10 “promise cards” to anyone who asked for them online no matter where they lived in the world.
One promise came back to Sheen from a 14-year old girl who wrote, “My sister has down syndrome and I promise to take care of her when my parents are no longer able to.”
Another promise card came from a high school student who wrote, “I promise to sit and make friends with the students who are alone at lunchtime.”
Yet another came from a member of the military and simply said, “I am serving my country.” “because I said I would.”
Fast-forward to today and Sheen and his “because I said I would” social movement have sent 9.81 million promise cards to individuals in over 153 countries.
“It doesn’t matter what language you speak, it doesn’t matter the color of your skin or how much money you make, how old you are or who you love” said Sheen. “We all understand the importance of a promise.”
He gave the example of a father named Garth who had been writing inspirational notes on lunch napkins to his daughter Emma since elementary school such as “Remember that guy who quit? Neither does anyone else.”
When Garth was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, similar to Alex’s father Al, and was given an eight percent chance to live beyond five years, he decided to be proactive. Garth counted the number of days until his daughter’s graduation date – 827 days to be precise – and wrote her a napkin note for every one of those days just in case anything happened to him.
One read, “Dear Emma, when I need a miracle I look into your eyes and realize I’ve already been granted one. Love, Dad.” There was hardly a dry eye in the CHS Performing Arts Center.
Sheen explained to the crowd that despite having a job that paid him well over six figures, he knew what he needed to do with his future.
He didn’t quite know how to explain to his boss he would be leaving this lavish position to start up a nonprofit organization, so he handed her a letter he had received from a teenage girl who had been suffering from depression. In the letter she said she didn’t think that life was worth living but as a result of “because I said I would,” she was getting stronger and realized life was worth living.
To his boss’ amazement, she realized this was the handwriting of her very own daughter, who had in fact been suffering through depression. “This is the reason why I’m standing in front of you today,” said Sheen, “I’m all in.”
Sheen went on to list several keys to “Because I said I would.”
“There are no superheroes in the world, it’s only you and me, and we can make a difference. Don’t ever tell yourself one person can’t make a difference. If you show the world your self-determination, maybe the world will stand up and take notice.”
In Photo (L-R): CHS Student Savannah Mullin and Natalie McNeill with “because I said I would” founder Alex Sheen.