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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77 entries.
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.
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.

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