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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89 entries.
Dori Bush Dori Bush from Lincoln, Nebraska wrote on May 24, 2021 at 11:11 am
I find myself giving "You Matter" cards anytime the spirit moves me, which seems to be often these days! Recently, I was in the drive-through lane at a Wendy's, and along with the $20 bill I handed the young man taking my money, I handed him a card. When I asked what "grade" he was in, he informed me that he had just graduated from an "alternative high school." I congratulated him and he answered "You inspire me!" At the food window, I handed the young woman another card, to which she replied "another one??" Apparently, I had already given her one in the past. I suggested she give the card to someone else and drove away with my salad, a tear in my eye, and a big smile on my face!
Liz Casaus Liz Casaus from Pembroke Pines wrote on May 12, 2021 at 10:44 am
I have handed these cards out to homeless people on the street. I usually place the card in front of the dollar bill I hand them. I have gotten a few people look at it and when they read it, they have held it up high with a smile and even said God bless you! And I always tell them when handing it to them "YOU MATTER." I truly get a good feeling inside when I do this. Great initiative 🙂
Ilene Ilene from Seattle wrote on April 23, 2021 at 8:33 am
I was feeling pretty defeated. My email had the story of You Matter. I had read of it before and had been very moved. Today I realized I was the one who needed the message and it was just handed to me. With love. I'm very grateful.
Derek Derek from Plainfield wrote on November 27, 2020 at 3:37 pm
An internal sponsor brought this great initiative to our company and today I sent virtual YM cards to some good people. A smile came to my face when I received my first response within minutes of sending out YM. Love the virtual cards. Thank you for the introduction to the movement and I've ordered printed cards so that I may pass out in person, COVID be d*mned. 😉
Melissa Kjonaas Melissa Kjonaas wrote on November 20, 2020 at 12:22 pm
My personal goal was to give more YM cards to strangers, especially men. In the past few years I have no problem giving them to women, but I struggled with giving them to men. The day my YM cards arrived I had to run errands. As I pulled into the parking lot I received the gift of watching this young dad, push his cart super fast towards his truck with two young boys beaming with glee. As the dad picked each son out of the cart, he spun them around before placing them into their car seats...giggle galore. My mind thought is he going to think this is dumb and I shook that negative thought off, walked up to him and thanked him for brightening my day by interacting so joy-filled with his sons. I gave him the YM card, told him You Matter, turned around and walked away. I hope his heart filled with joy as much as mine did watching him be in the moment with his two kids!
Rachelle Peterson Rachelle Peterson from Asheboro, NC wrote on November 17, 2020 at 11:41 am
I am thrilled with the responses I have received from giving the You Matter cards! Unfortunately I have to go to quite a few appointments. I decided the people that work in healthcare are super deserving and have had super responses!!! I return and they still have the cards with them!
Yesterday the receptionists out front checking patients in and out seemed to be having a super stressful day. The lady that checked me in was unusually gruff with everyone. I was leaving and it was the same, so as she was finding my return appointment time, I gave her (and the other lady) You Matter cards... the tension in the area just dissolved and I have never seen these ladies so sweet and appreciative! (Her voice changed completely!) They thanked me numerous times and said they were going to keep them on their computers!
I gave one to the person that takes me to my appointments and her card stays in her car so she can keep being reminded!!!
Thank you for the You Matter Marathon!!!
Sydney Frederick Sydney Frederick wrote on November 12, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Today I was challenged to do an act of kindness. So I decided to wrap a couple dollars, an act of kindness card, and a You Matter card up and tie them all together. I went to target and left it in an area that gets a decent amount of traffic. Fingers crossed that someone sees it and it makes there day!
Elaine Smith Elaine Smith from Dublin wrote on November 10, 2020 at 5:57 pm
Two years ago on Thanksgiving Day I gave a You Matter card to the manager of our local Family Dollar. He is always so pleasant and was working that day so other employees could be off. He so appreciated the card, several times since he has pulled it from his wallet to show me he carries it with him. This year, I gave this nice man ten cards to give out. He balked at first and was uncharacteristically quiet, but then said, "I have quite a few customers going through rough times, they'll love this."

I was in the store today and he yelled at me as I was leaving, "Remember, You Matter!"

Isn't it wonderful to know we can touch so many people with this simple message?
Susan McGinley Susan McGinley from Swarthmore wrote on November 9, 2020 at 6:55 pm
I first saw this wonderful uplifting marathon on 6ABC news. In this time of pandemic and so much upheaval in the world I thought it was a great project to get involved with. I work at a college. Colleges are struggling now and have so many restrictions on their students if they are on campus. Where I work we only have first year and second year students who are so new to the college life and this semester hasn't been easy for them. They are told to keep apart and stay on campus. I remember my first year of college and how overwhelming it was and the adjusting was so hard. It has to be doubly hard for them with these restrictions. So I spent one day just handing out the cards as I past by. Most students were so thankful and thought it was a wonderful thing to receive. I just wanted to make someone's day better and I think this was a good way to do it. Thank you for the cards and the thought.
Jill Rice Jill Rice from Lindenwold, NJ wrote on November 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm
This year has been challenging for so many in various ways. The virus, the lockdowns, etc. The civil unrest. The election. Everything is off kilter. But for me, on a personal level, this year started off rough. I entered therapy for the first time in my life this past January. It's been a rough mental battle, I take anxiety medication and it's helping but there's still so much going on. I still suffer from insomnia and have 2 nervous tiks of picking at my fingers and biting my lip. My hands are picked raw. I've had to cut off family cause of their political views. I've struggled with so much, having to come into work as if we're essential during a pandemic. We're not, I work at a personal injury firm and the ambulance chaser bosses don't want to miss anything, ugh!! But in helping others I can help myself. I write something on the back of my cards. My first read "Don't give up. JR" I feel that writing something on the back makes it more personal. And sometimes the personal touch really is needed. I struggle with anxiety and depression but am trying not to sink into a hole. So I keep on keeping on. I want to lift others up. I want to inspire people. I want to be the reason someone doesn't kill themselves. I want to leave this world just a little bit better than what I came into. Misery isn't the only thing that's contagious. Smiles and happiness are contagious. I want to be the reason people smile. I hope I can bring a little joy into this world. I hope I can be a beacon of light in all this darkness. I just want to make a difference so thank you for this. Thank you for giving me that opportunity. I wish I had thought of it first, lol!!
Cathi Cathi from Topsham, ME wrote on November 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm
This is my 3rd year in the You Matter Marathon, and it was pure magic that led me to it … or it to me! Three years ago I was having some problems with office politics at the college where I work. Specifically, my boss was jealous of some successful programs I had generated, and was making my life (and job) very difficult. I was lamenting all this to my daughter over coffee one day, and had just finished saying, “No matter how successful I am or how much I do, I feel like I don’t matter” … and no kidding , at that EXACT moment, there was a knock on the door, and my mailperson handed me a stack of mail. In it was an envelope from the You Matter Marathon. Not having ordered anything, I opened it with curiosity. In sheer amazement, there were 30 You Matter cards! You could have knocked me over with a feather. I still have no idea how I got them originally, but since that day, I have been part of the You Matter Marathon, and look for any opportunity to brighten someone’s day, just like they magically brightened mine. Thank you so much for such a brilliant and easy way to lift other people up.
Melani Jaffe Melani Jaffe from Oreland, PA wrote on April 27, 2020 at 10:17 am
Thank you for these wonderful cards to spread this important message out in the world. Since the Shelter In Place, I've been sending a card daily to either an essential worker that I don't know, to family and to friends. It is a wonderful way to stay connected during this time and reflect on what is important and more importantly let others know they matter to you and the worlds.

Thanks again for your wonderful work.
Cynthia Puckett Cynthia Puckett from Nashville wrote on March 2, 2020 at 2:52 pm
I have passed out YOU MATTER cards for many years and have often been overwhelmed by the response these little cards generate. One of my favorite places to use them is in the drive thru at a fast food restaurant. Those folks are working hard and most customers just "grab and go". I love to see their eyes light up when I hand them a YM card. However, I recently received the greatest gift when my 6 year old granddaughter asked for some You Matter cards to give out at school. She said her music teacher was so great and taught them all such important lessons that she (my granddaughter) wanted to give her a You Matter Card. And, she asked, if I had enough, could she have one for each of her classmates and her teachers. I was happy to fulfill her request and even added a few more in her backpack in case she came across someone else who needed to be reminded that they matter.
Janine Hew Janine Hew from Brisbane Australia wrote on January 25, 2020 at 10:42 pm
New Year 2020 has been tragic so far here in Australia with all the bushfires. It has given me a renewed sense of gratitude for my life, my home, my friends my job. Grateful for simple things like my favorite tshirt, growing flowers and my ability to walk pain free. Having participated in the You Matter marathon for three years now, I continue to share cards all year round. I find it is especially important to connect with others when the world seems in crisis mode. I always have cards in my wallet and as I travel through my day I try to pay particular attention to strangers. I wonder how their day began, was it with three children getting ready for school, an aged parent or alone? Are they happy driving the bus today or looking for a new job ? I see others through the eyes of shared humanity and when I give a card out I look people in the eye, smile and say this is for you. This morning I gave out two cards to the ladies in the gas station, they were so happy and said " that's fantastic, that made our day". It is such a simple gesture to notice people and feel our sameness with everyone. I love taking the time to appreciate others, It makes my day. Kind wishes Janine
Andro Alkhawande Andro Alkhawande from Fall River wrote on January 7, 2020 at 4:54 pm
I got my free 30 cards and passed them out in my school, I wrote on the back of each one "pass it on -Andro." Next thing you know people started coming up to me saying thank you, "I was going to take my life today", "I'm going through a lot at the moment", or "It's nice to have people like you in the world." No one understands how much a card with two simple words on it could change someone's life. Thank you so much.
Barbara Alaimo Barbara Alaimo from Sparks wrote on December 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm
You just don't know the powerful impact a simple card can have. I was shopping on a cold, dismal, winter day. When I expressed my appreciation to the clerk for his kind, courteous, non-pressuring treatment and handed him the "You Matter" card, he smiled broadly and said I am saving this in my wallet.
Barbarah Travland Barbarah Travland from Tucson wrote on December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am
I went to my chiropractor the other night after work, and he looked a little more stressed than usual and it was extremely busy. I had a much longer wait than I usually do. Everyone in the office was saying what a crazy day it was. I quite often make same or next day appointments and they always work me in, which I really appreciate so I gave him a You Matter card and he really appreciated it. Then I gave one to each of the rest of the office staff. they were all really touched, and one put it on the bulletin board above her computer. They said they had 55 patients that day and usually have 45. It felt really good to let them know how much I appreciate them. it makes me smile whenever I give out a card.
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.

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