Because I said I would is definitely a phrase that resonates with us all. For some, it may bring up positive memories of when a loved one or friend came through on a promise. For others, it may conjure up negative experiences around disappointment. But did you know that because I said I would is also a non-profit organization and social movement? One that aims to end human suffering, establish peace and build happiness? And it is because of the group’s mission that they have recently connected with the USC School of Social Work through the 2015 NetKAL Summit.
Alex Sheen is the founder of because I said I would. His work has been featured on major media outlets, including Good Morning America, ABC World News, and NPR. Through his philanthropic work, his personal commitments, and the stories of his supporters, Sheen tours the world and speaks to audiences about the premise of his work: to keep a promise. Recently, participants of the 2015 NetKAL Summit were able to listen to his message.
“My father was a man of his word. When he made a promise, he kept it,” said Sheen. He went on to explain that his father, an immigrant from Korea, was a tough man that was able to beat cancer. As a pharmacist he took on the harshest chemo, knowing the risks, said Sheen. He went on to explain that at first it paid off, as the tumor shrunk and the cancer went into remission.
“Unfortunately, the cancer came back and spread throughout his body,” he said. The audience listened attentively as Sheen finished. “But this story is not about my father’s death, nor is it about cancer,” he said. “We all struggle with loss. During my struggle I kept coming back to the importance of a promise. You see, long before my father was born, and long after I’m gone, we are all treated by the integrity of our word.”
The way his nonprofit works is fairly simple. Promise cards are filled out by participants, they are then sent out to the recipient(s) of the promise, and returned to the sender when the promise has been completed.
Sheen is confident as he speaks on stage. More importantly, he is enthusiastic. He is excited about helping people keep their promises. Some promises are heavy, like that of a terminally ill father who promised to write out enough daily messages for his daughter to last her through her eighteenth birthday, others are less intense, like promising to hit the gym every day, but they’re all important to the people who make them.
“Because I said I would will take its movement beyond social media. I’m working on starting chapters around the world, they’ll be led by people like you, people who make promises to better our communities,” said Sheen.
Since his father’s passing in 2012 because I said I would has sent over three million promise cards to over 150 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions around the world to reflect and proclaim to do something honorable for themselves and others. Now attendees who were inspired by his stories at the 2015 NetKAL Summit know about the organization and its mission, and may even call upon it one day to help them follow through on their own promise(s).