MARSHALL COUNTY, KY — Promises are easy to make and easy to break. Marshall County High School students and administrators said that after the shooting in January, people made promises. Sometimes family, friends, even strangers said they would be there for you, and maybe they didn’t follow through.
On Monday, the creator of the social movement Because I Said I Would, Alex Sheen, spoke to students. His message: Actions speak louder than words.
Marshall County students hear from people all the time about what they went through. “A lot of people are going to act like they will be there whenever we need them the most,” said junior Zach Simmons. “When they see that we are doing just fine, they kind of like ‘They’re doing fine. They are back on track, and we aren’t needed anymore.'”
“You have gone through an unspeakable tragedy that I’m not going to stand up here and pretend I understand,” Alex Sheen said. “It’s not fair, and it never needed to happen. But maybe it is a moment to reflect on our purpose, to make a promise in honor of someone we have lost.”
Sheen teaches people about making promises and keeping them. He said his father was a man of his word, and when he died of cancer, Sheen dedicated his life to being one, too. “My father, Al Sheen, is gone forever, but you and me man, we are still here,” Sheen said.
Each student received 10 promise cards. They’re the size of a business card, and blank except for the words “because I said I would” across the bottom. Participants are asked to fill the blank space on the card with a promise.
“It’s something so small that we can do every day,” Senior Chloe Kerrick said. “It’s not asking for money. It’s making a promise and keeping that promise.”
She’s making a promise for college. “I want to promise my parents that I’m going to do everything I can to make it through, and to do everything I can to do well and succeed,” Kerrick said.
Whether you have a plan or not, thousands of promises are waiting to be made and kept.
“I hope that you can make a promise to a friend, yourself, to get through this,” Sheen said.
The nonprofit waived the speaking fees for Marshall County High School. They will send promise cards to anyone who requests them. You can request some for yourself here.