When a father of two young girls in Seattle heard about four teen suicides in a nearby county, he decided to spread messages of positivity. Little did he know that his simple act of kindness would spread throughout his community and beyond.
That father, Colby Wallace, became fed up when he realized that the rise in suicides wasn’t getting talked about enough.
“These were local high school students and no one was really talking about it,” Wallace, 42, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
So, he decided to do something that would not only raise awareness about mental health issues but would hopefully help those who are struggling feel less alone. That’s when a friend told him about the Don’t Give Up Movement, which was started by Amy Wolff and her family in Newberg, Oregon.
In a video on the Don’t Give Up website, Wolff describes the movement as completely accidental — she and her family were just trying to spread a little positivity via yard signs after they heard how high the suicide rate was in their community. They had no idea it would catch on like it did.
“The idea of encouraging yard signs had been bouncing around in my head for years but it was always ‘just a silly idea.’ That is until May 2017 — then it became the something,” the site states.
As you can see on Don’t Give Up’s Instagram page, you can spot these signs planted in flower beds, yards — just about everywhere:
Don’t Give Up Movement is a nonprofit organization, and you can make a donation or purchase signs for your own town, which is precisely what Wallace did.
He started by spending $105 on 15 signs with phrases such as, “You’re Worthy of Love,” “Don’t Give Up” and “You Matter” printed on them.
“We placed signs across the street from my daughter’s school and an older woman told me, ‘Thank you so much because people my age really need to hear this,’” Wallace told Yahoo Lifestyle.
The dad wasn’t necessarily expecting this to get so much attention. He was just striving to “be the change you want to see,” he told KCPQ.
But he has already received donations from others and gone on to spend more money on supplies from Don’t Give Up. He also started a GoFundMe page, where anyone can donate to help him continue putting signs up in his area.
“I don’t know where this thing ends, but for now, for today, this is what we are going to do,” he told KCPQ. “Don’t give up.”
If you’d like to get involved, you can purchase signs, cards and decals at Don’t Give Up, too — which is perhaps the greatest thing about this movement.
As Wallace points out to Yahoo Lifestyle, “Really, anyone can do this.”
So, who’s ready to start spreading some positivity?