Friday, October 24, 2014

How important are promises?

On Sept. 4, 2012, when Alex Sheen gave the eulogy at his Dad's funeral, he spoke of his father's relentless commitment to keeping promises. Then he handed out several promise cards. On the front were the words, "because I said I would." He challenged each person to write a promise on the back and give the card to someone, and reclaim it when the promise was kept. "This card is a symbol of your honor," he said.

Since then, he's mailed 2.1 million promise cards to people in 105 countries. "Because I said I would" is now a non-profit organization founded by Sheen dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept.

For example, one woman promised to overcome her fear of needles. She did so by giving blood for the first time. A 14-year-old girl whose school had seen two student suicides promised "to make friends with kids who sit alone at lunch." Then there was Garth, who for six years wrote encouraging notes on napkins in his daughter Emma's school lunchbox. When he was diagnosed with a terminal disease, Garth promised to write 826 notes of encouragement to Emma -- one for each day of her remaining days in high school.

One day, at the software company where he worked, Sheen found an anonymous note someone left on his desk. The writer said she'd almost taken her life because to depression, but was getting stronger every day thanks to some promise card commitments she'd made and then kept. Sheen was so moved that he walked straight into his boss's office and submitted his resignation, to devote himself full-time to his non-profit. He asked his boss to read the anonymous note.

After a brief moment, his boss looked up and said, "That's my daughter's handwriting."

To learn about Sheen's non-profit organization, order cards, or read more first-hand accounts of healing, visit

(From an article by Dann Denny in the Herald-Times in Bloomington, IN)

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