The You Matter Marathon is a month-long event taking place Nov. 1 to 30. Each year, students and teachers from the Special Education department of Upper Dublin School District lend their helping hands to the locally based non-profit.
Unlike traditional marathons, there is no running required. This is a movement of kindness to let people know that they matter. Participants simply share a pre-printed business card stating, "You Matter."
Upper Dublin students and staff of the Special Education Department have spent the summer preparing the cards for shipment around the world. These students are participating in an Extended School Year program this summer, where they continue to work on employability skills through campus-based instruction.
Since 2016, over one million You Matter cards have been shared among people in 73 countries. The non-profit's goal for 2019 is to share 1 million You Matter cards in Nov.
The You Matter Marathon was founded in 2016 by Cheryl Rice, a leadership coach, speaker and author based in suburban Philadelphia, after receiving a card stating, “You Matter” from a colleague while working on a project. Rice was so moved she had a set of You Matter cards printed to hand out to people.
One day while at the supermarket, Rice overheard a customer talk about the difficulties her family was facing. Moved by this woman’s story, Rice approached her in the parking lot and gave her a You Matter card and a hug.
“When the woman read the card, she began to cry,” Rice said. “And through her tears, she said, ‘You have no idea how much this means to me.’”
The first 3,000 people to sign up for the You Matter Marathon will receive 30 You Matter cards to share free of charge. Additional cards are available for purchase for $15 for 100 cards. Sign up for the marathon and learn more at https://youmattermarathon.com/sign-up-for-the-ymm/.