One woman’s inspirational yard signs have inspired thousands of people to raise awareness for mental health in their communities.
Amy Wolff is a wife and mother of two daughters from Newberg, Oregon.
In May of 2017, Amy had a conversation with a friend who shared the alarming suicide rates in their community.
“I about fell out of my chair. I felt completely hopeless and ill-equipped to be part of a solution. After all, I wasn’t a therapist. I didn’t know of anyone suffering with thoughts of self-harm. What on earth could I do?” Amy writes.
In 2017, roughly 47,173 Americans died by suicide and there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts.
This inspired her to do something to help raise awareness for mental health. So, Amy went to work creating yard signs with messages of support.
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“The last few weeks have been very difficult for me personally and have brought up a whole bunch of memories that I wish I could forget. The signs in your yard really helped me tonight…” #dontgiveupsigns #youmatter #youareworthyoflove #yourmistakesdonotdefineyou #dontgiveup
The signs featured encouraging words like “Don’t Give Up” and “Your Mistakes Don’t Define You”.
“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 something,” Amy says.
Over the next few weeks, the family knocked on doors around town asking permission to place the signs in neighbors’ lawns.
The community was extremely supportive of the simple, yet powerful gesture.
“When we knocked on strangers’ doors asking to place signs in their yard for 2 weeks, they didn’t hesitate. Once they saw the signs had no branding, no website, no organization, no strings attached, just a young family trying to spread love and hope, they were all in,” she said.
It wasn’t long before the idea caught traction and Amy even began receiving messages from members of the community who wanted to buy the signs.
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Thanks to our local Fire and Rescue, Sheriff and community members who joined us at the You Matter Sign Rally that @youthoutreach719 puts on every week! #dontgiveup #dontgiveupsigns #youmatter #youthoutreach #youareenough #yourenotalone #onedayatatime #youareworthyoflove #yourmistakesdonotdefineyou #yourmistakesdontdefineyou
In only a few days, she sold 150 of the inspirational signs.
“The movement really picked up traction when family friends road tripped that summer from Portland to Rochester, leaving a trail of our [messages] in every public bathroom, restaurant, and rest station across this great country,” Amy said.
Within a year, Amy realized the movement wasn’t slowing down any time soon and she decided to launch the Don’t Give Up nonprofit for her signs.
Since planting her very first yard sign, Amy has shipped messages to all 50 US states and 26 countries, in 6 different languages.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the nonprofit founder has received especially touching messages of gratitude for her work.
One testimonial reads: “I just had a woman knock on my door. She began to cry and thank me for the signs in my yard. She lives up the road and said her son had attempted suicide and these signs were in the yard the day they came home from the hospital. She drives by every day and for her, her son, and her daughter – the reminder is profound.”
While another said: “Today a middle school boy knocked on my window while I was in the drop-off lane at school. He pointed to my ‘You Matter’ decal and said ‘Seeing your decal made me feel special and good about myself. Thanks.’”
Amy hopes that her signs will continue to raise awareness and give hope to all of those feeling lost.
h/t: Good News Network