Share Your 'You Matter Marathon' Story

We’d love to hear your experience giving or receiving a You Matter card.

Questions to consider:

What happened?

How did it feel to give or receive a You Matter card?

What impact, if any, did giving or receiving a You Matter card have on you?

What, if anything, will change for you after giving or receiving a You Matter card?

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72 entries.
Liz Liz from Nottingham, England wrote on November 26, 2019 at 4:22 pm:
I like to be an anonymous card giver. I place the cards in an envelope and address them to the recipient. I either place them where I know they will find them or post them. The last card I gave was for someone I work with who has been having a hard time with another colleague.
One particular day I knew she was struggling, so I left the card for her to find. The next day she showed me the envelope, saying ‘look what someone has left for me’, I could see her eyes welling up. She said that it had made her day and she felt really emotional.
I felt no delight in wanting to tell her it was me but seeing how moved she felt made me appreciate the huge impact such a small gesture can have on someone.
I often find that when people question who or why they might have received these cards it’s often never for the reason I intended, for example, I left a card for a friend/colleague who is heavily involved in a charity, she thought this was the reason she had received her card, In fact, we had attended a firework display with our families and my daughters feet were so cold her toes were white, my friend gave her a second pair of socks to wear to keep her warm.
Amy Amy from Portland wrote on November 26, 2019 at 11:04 am:
I have participated in giving out You Matter cards for a few years now and have savored the positive impact for both the receiver and giver. This year I had my last 7 or 8 cards on the passenger seat of my car when my car was stolen. I had a club on so I knew it was a serious thief, one who carried a hack saw to cut the steering wheel. The door of my car was retrieved attached to a totally stripped similar car- strong doubt the rest of the car will be found at all. Processing this a week now, and often looking for something and realizing ‘Oh it was in my car - gone.’ I wonder How or If the thief was impacted by seeing the You Matter cards? I am also struggling with How a car thief matters...
Sean C Sean C from Anytown, USA wrote on November 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm:
I am a high schooler. I know a ton of people, so it was hard pleasing everyone. After giving one of my friends in football, his teammates asked me why they didn't matter, so I gave them some too. They ended up tearing the cards up or making paper airplanes with them. To deal with this card shortage, I simply showed people the cards and sent them a phone wallpaper to use. I have 60 cards, which is double the amount of 30, but that simply wasn't enough! But overall, great program. My mental health and grades improved afterward.
Mary Feeney Mary Feeney from Philadelphia wrote on November 20, 2019 at 10:18 am:
For the past three years, I have shared YOU MATTER cards with so many individuals who have made my daily work easier. This is the easiest way to never forget to say thank you.
I have shared the cards with police officers, armed forces, students, faculty, staff but most importantly with the homeless. I have crochet afghans for years for the homeless. In each bag I give contains an afghan, socks, hat, hand / foot warmers and gloves with a You Matter card tucked inside.
Everyone's life deserves validation. These cards have brought a smile to so many.
Thank you.
Karen Sweeney Karen Sweeney from Glenside wrote on November 20, 2019 at 10:14 am:
Yesterday, I met two wonderful people at the municipal building where I work. Their circumstances were not too easy, though. Turns out it was a brother and sister and the brother was coming to turn himself in for some crimes he committed. He was crying but anxious to get his life right again. A few moments later, the sister passed my desk and was leaving. I could tell this was hard for her. So I pulled out a card, gave it to her and she, too, started to cry. But it was happy tears! A few hours later, she was back to post bail for her brother! He was able to leave and go home. I gave him a huge hug!! They both know that they mattered!
April April from Billings wrote on November 13, 2019 at 10:30 am:
We included the You Matter cards inside dignity bags for the homeless which also included socks, soap, and other toiletry items. Those bags will be distributed to our homeless friends at St. Vincent de Paul Society during the month of November.
Joan Joan from Capital Heights, MD wrote on November 10, 2019 at 7:52 pm:
Still excited after my second year of sharing my YOU MATTER cards. Last year I had about 50 copies made to share over the 30 that I received. This year I have had two orders of a total of 500 made by minuteman press and just had a receiver of my card to ask where can he get some. He had such a great response to tell me about today that I told him I would order him what he needs.

He runs a road side vegetable stand and for the last couple weeks; he has experienced an customer that always seems to be unhappy with his produce. After her words of displeasure with a worker she walked away to her car. Mr. James the owner said he shook his head as usual; thought about the YOU MATTER card and said no, then something said yes. He said he called at her and she stop, he walked over and gave her the card. She looked at the front and the back of the cards and then she looked at him and smiled. Never had he seen a look like that on her face; it did something to him. He said he wanted to call me right then to let me know how that card gave her and him something. I stopped by his stand today and he was so excited about the card that he asked if I had more. You Matter is more than a card he said. I hope to send a photo of Mr. James to be used in the updates. One card made a difference to him and he made a difference to someone else.
Sydney Sydney wrote on November 7, 2019 at 4:50 pm:
This is my first year participating in the You Matter Marathon and I have had such an amazing experience so far. With 15 of my You Matter cards, I handed them out to my fellow coordinators in my organization with a piece of candy and a handwritten note on the back. I decided to do this because it is getting to be crazy at school and things are starting to pick up. I also noticed that everyone had been feeling down about something or has been dealing with a lot. I ended up giving them to everyone at our weekly meeting and I actually made a couple people cry. It reminded them that they are not alone and that they do matter even when they think they don't.
Kathy Kathy from Santa Fe, NM wrote on September 24, 2019 at 10:14 am:
I received one of these cards recently and have some unresolved thoughts about it. It didn't exactly feel good. On the one hand, it was a sincere extension from a stranger to a stranger. We spend so much of our lives disconnected, and honestly, anything that might leave any one of us less isolated is a 'win'.

Still, there is something that feels ill considered that I cannot quite put my fingers on. Patronizing is one way I can read it: you (person with a card in your hands) think you get to say who matters and who doesn't? And then there's the question of "matter" which in recent years at least for me evokes "Black Lives Matter", a movement calling attention to un-examined racial bias and police terror against the Black Americans. This evokes for me some of the minimizing "all lives matter" response -- yes, all lives matter, and we are in an ongoing significant crisis against black and brown bodies.

I'm also curious, having seen folks hand these cards out -- if you are aware of people you habitually give them to, and people you habitually miss?

What about: "I see you." "Thank you for being you." or "Thank you for being" or "You made my life a little better" or "May you be well" or ??

I wonder if your movement might evolve to acknowledge the climate in which we are swimming?
Virginia Reeves Virginia Reeves from Salem wrote on May 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm:
I've handed out You Matter cards during the past 3 years. My favorite story is sending 24 cards last year to a niece in prison. She slipped them into the workbooks of ladies she teaches math and other subjects to in order to gain their GED for a high school diploma. I'd sent some to her in previous years and she'd handed them out to friends. She said this experience has been so good for all of them. For myself, I keep one card on my computer desk and a magnet on my refrigerator. When I share with others, I always give them 3 so they can share 2 (spreads the message even further). Congratulations and best wishes to everyone who participates in this wonderful campaign.
Steven Fischer Steven Fischer from Portland wrote on March 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm:
I am a recovering alcoholic and currently work at an out-patient treatment facility for the Veterans Administration. One of my functions is the orientation for people entering our program for the treatment of substance abuse. We provide each attendee with a folder containing much information regarding our program and the services available to them through the VA. The folder allows for the placement of a business-size card. I place a YOU MATTER card in each folder. At the close of the orientation I bring the card to everyone’s attention and proceed to explain why I have placed it there with the following words: “The reason I put this card in your folder is because my last act as a drunk was attempted suicide, because I didn’t think I mattered. And I want you, each and every one, to know that you matter. You matter to us. So please, let us do what we can, to help you help yourself get clean and sober.” I have distributed over 1000 cards in this fashion. Thank you.
Mary Kremer Mary Kremer from Philadelphia wrote on January 8, 2019 at 12:21 pm:
For the past few years I have been given my cards to people who have helped me along the way thru my journey of recovery from drugs and alcohol, these same people also have supported me thru the process of moving away from abusive relationships and learning my worth. My addiction was fed thru abusive relationships, drugs were my only coping skill. Now, just celebrating 5 years in recovery this previous Dec. 23, 2018. I am a junior in college studying for my bachelors in human services, in October I also graduated a course with 6 certifications that has opened the door to my first paid position in the field of helping others. I now have 25 of my own clients, who are where I have been. Who struggle with self-esteem, self-worth, abuse, substances and are fighting just to get a second of sanity. This year I have decided to give my cards to the people whom I now support. Some of them have been too involved in their own negative experiences to acknowledge the meaning of the card, but I know they will one day stumble upon this card amongst their belongings, and it will make them smile. Other's have been very appreciative of the simple, yet powerful meaning of just two words on a card, "You Matter." Regardless, if my small acts of kindness are appreciated at that moment or not, I did my part by letting them know that they matter, because helping them, helps me. Thank you!
Rich Rich from salina wrote on December 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm:
I received a stack of cards from a beloved co-worker. I went home that night and gave one to each of my children, and one to my amazing wife-all responded with delight. My children asked if they could have some to take to school, so i obliged. I arose the next morning and saw one of the cards laying on my phone, with all of their signatures! That night I also had the pleasure of hearing them tell me about the experiences handing the cards out at school-they shared many stories of how some of the peers(and even a couple of teachers) teared up at the gesture! Thank you for the opportunity to get involved! One more way myself and my children can allow God to use us to touch hearts! Thanks Kathy!!
Nell Nell from Decatur wrote on December 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm:
Jez! I never anticipated the reception I would get from the You Matter cards. Unbelievable. For example, I thought a guy was angry with me for delaying the check-out line by distributing YM cards to those ahead of me and all cashiers. He followed me outside and I gave him one as well. Through tears, he said, "You have NO IDEA what this means to me today.. My wife is in the hospital dying and I'm wondering if I'm worth anything at all." After some other exchanges, we parted and he added, "This is a blessing. God is using you in this." I now not only hand out individual YM cards, I give 5-10 to them to pass on to others. So far, over 2500 cards given with unbelievable responses and even greater numbers of fabulous feelings of internal joy and happiness within myself. How wonderful for all concerned!!
Caren Caren from Leadville, CO wrote on December 5, 2018 at 12:46 pm:
I have been enjoying being in the community of Leadville, Colorado, which is a small town at the highest elevation in the country, 10200 ft. It is wicked cold in the winter, but everyone enjoys it since snow sports is what it is about. I found out about the Toy Drive for needy children and decided to participate. I dropped off 2 toys at the Medical Center, which was collecting all items to later be distributed at a holiday party for all citizens. I posed with the receptionist who collected the gifts as I gave her the You Matter card. She was very delighted to get it and willing posed for our picture.
Victoria Victoria from Perkasie wrote on November 28, 2018 at 2:51 pm:
Last week, I was leaving You Matter cards in random locations at my job. )I work in a retirement community)
I put one in a secrion where my coworker takes care of. She asked if I put it there. At first I said no but told her yes. It was for her. She thanked me. At the end of the shift, she told me "of all days to get something like this, today meant so much". It was the anniversary of her mothers passing. I began to cry and said I was sorry for her loss. She said she didnt mean to make me cry but she wanted me to know it helped her through the day.
mbridgewater mbridgewater wrote on November 28, 2018 at 10:39 am:
At church Sunday, a woman and I bumped into each other in the crowded foyer, after the service. She was carrying a woven tray of multicolored Peace Cranes, and said "Since I bumped into you it must mean I'm to give you one of these peace cranes I made." So I chose a purple one (of course), and I said, "And I want to give you this card" and gave her a You Matter card. She was really touched and it felt so good to be sharing with each other.

I'd also given cards to the minister, the pianist and the woman who led the morning meditation. Oh yes, and to the woman next to me, who was so welcoming and friendly to me. This was only my 3rd time at this church.
This is such fun and so heart-warming!

And a wonderful way to connect with people at a new spiritual center.

Love it!

Barbarah,
Tucson AZ
Harriet Harriet from Orange County, CA wrote on November 27, 2018 at 5:52 pm:
I have been donating blankets and cozy warm wraps around town this holiday season. Several of my cards were placed with donated blankets and given to a local dialysis center.

Another blanket with card was 'secretly' placed on the steps of a fire truck in the parking lot where the firemen were eating lunch.

One of the pharmacy aides at our local CVS was gifted a wrap and card. Her mouth literally dropped open when she saw the YOU MATTER card because our relationship was not the friendliest a while back. I simply said that I appreciate her. She was too touched to even speak. A little kindness goes a long way. And in the end we all just really want the same simple thing...to know that WE MATTER ♥♥♥
Brooke Brooke from Diamondhead wrote on November 24, 2018 at 2:57 pm:
I worked as a cashier for a long time in a high end grocery store in my town. Most customers are elderly, well off, or both. Some days are hard. You get yelled at, looked down on, humiliated. The number of people that told me my job was nothing and I was useless was overwhelming, it wears on you. I will never forget a woman early in the job who was very friendly, asked how my day was and wanted to know the answer. At the end of the transaction, she handed me a You Matter card. I cried when she walked away. In a job where you're called stupid and useless and expected to smile, I had never had something so kind happen. In the two years I was there I had this woman a few times. She always gave me a card, and it always made my day. Reminded me the world could be kind. I only ever kept the first one I got, it stays in my wallet. Every other one id give to fellow cashiers. The impact these had on us is other worldly.
mbridgewater mbridgewater wrote on November 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm:
You Matter 2018, so far my favorite You Matter person is one of my Doctors. I love to study genealogy people's background and the history of countries. Things that would enhance the person to be extraordinary in his profession. My health has its challenges, but so do others. Wise people seek strength from a higher being.

Their God.

My strength comes from the Lord sometimes. I have to “be still” stay still and focus hard on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But for today during one of the periods of being obedient and not listening to the news. I was watching a movie and fell asleep. Never did I ever think I would hear that a bomb went into a house of worship, and people’s lives I believe were lost while they were praying to their Higher God. As they were honoring him and their house of worship was invaded. One of my most important doctors God had used him. And I truly believed I am here today for his knowledge his spirituality and his dedication to his patients.

This doctor does not look at me as a person that is not worthy because of my physical characteristics. No matter how much he is in a rush to help others he acknowledges me as someone worthy of his time. I turned over in the bed and I said what they say about bombing, “No, no, I didn't hear that right.” My brain started flying, my prayers started pouring, the tears started flowing and I said I know someone of that faith one of my doctor's I'm almost positive.

As, it so happened I was in the middle of being isolated from everyone's coughs and sneezes, etc. and knowing that I did not want (prednisone) not one more time. But I had an upcoming appointment with my doctor. He is an asthma and allergy specialist that has been seen on television often. Yet he still stays the same as the day I met him over 11 years ago. But hist last name leads me to believe what his faith is. I had to meet with him and pour my heart out so that he could feel my sincerity on what happened to his house of worship. After my office visit I talked to one of the workers and said my hands are no good but I cannot leave here unless you can help me prepare a “YOU MATTER” card. One for my doctor and one for his wife they got to be perfect and they got to be laminated can you help me???

Doctor came in the office a couple times and you're still here. I tried to hurry I tried to move fast but it had to be done properly everything decent and in order and once I leave his staff would give him the cards that are a token of love from me.

After giving him my heartfelt feelings about what has happened to his people. He said it mattered to him what I said and as soon as he took his lunch break he was going to inform his wife. Oh Jesus – what I told my doctor who I consider very professional high standing, one with good morals no prejudgment a doctor you can talk to and negotiate with on your own behalf. No this was not about me there is only one God and the God you serve and the God I serve means as much to me as your God means to you and I am truly, truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. I left the cards behind, got my prescriptions, prayed and prayed some more, and I said “Thank you, Lord, for I know you have used this man to save my life.” I will never ever forget Doctor Thomas E. Klein.
Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the cards because the lateness of the hour the need for the office to be vacated so that the next patient could come in. I did not take a picture but trust me when I tell you if there's anyone in my life that matters on a professional level it is this doctor that my Lord and Savior works through as he treats his patients with the utmost respect. Dr. Klein, you are the person that matters, remember always you matter. May God continue to lift your people up and bless you may he heal the wounded hearts. Those that mourn over their loved ones are people like myself that are mourning with you.

I just want you to always know no matter what faith it is that I know I can reach my God at all times. I have never walked in your office and you have changed up on me where. I had to be concerned you have been the same person day in and day out for 11 years. May God continually bless you your family your faith and anyone associated and important to you and your life. I can hear your voice saying and Marian it's your turn. Dr. Kline, may God always keep you close to the bosoms of his heart. Much love and admiration for what you do for others. Thank you, Dr., YOU MATTER!!!! Marian Regina Snipes.

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