Colby Wallace wanted a way to send an anti-suicide message to the young people in his area.
As Yahoo News reports, the dad from Seattle was upset by the news that four teenagers in his county had died by suicide in only four days. Worst of all was the fact that no one really seemed to be acknowledging about what had happened.
He told Q13 News:
“As a parent, you feel really helpless when you hear these stories, that this is happening. This is happening a lot, but nobody wants to talk about it.”
That’s when Wallace learned about the Don’t Give Up Movement, a project started by a mom who wanted to spread a positive message to combat youth suicide. The dad ordered more than a dozen inspirational signs and 200 wristbands from the Movement’s website.
The signs bear messages like, “Don’t Give Up,” “You Are Enough,” and, “You Matter.”
Wallace began by placing some signs across from his daughter’s school. Right away, he heard from an “older woman” who thanked him and told him that “people my age really need to hear this.”
The dad’s motivation was sending a positive message to adolescents, but he quickly learned that the signs touched people of all ages. He told Yahoo:
“A woman told me she was in tears after dropping off her daughter at school because the sign made her feel heard.”
Wallace began receiving donations to purchase more supplies and started to post the signs around town. After some of them were vandalized, neighbors stepped forward and offered to host the signs in their own yards. One of those neighbors told Q13:
“What a great idea to boost people’s feelings about themselves. I can’t think of anything that’s better than ‘You matter.'”
Wallace says the project is “rooted in love.” He told Yahoo:
“I’ve learned that you never know who is struggling. Some people seem like they have it together but need to hear this.”
The dad has started a GoFundMe page. He plans to continue putting up signs through all of Spring and again when school is back in session. He’s also hoping other people will be inspired to put signs up in their neighborhoods as well. He told Q13:
“I don’t know where this thing ends, but for now, for today, this is what we are going to do. Don’t give up.”