Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day, March 28th

I Matter, You Matter begins with you…

A message from Salley Gibney…

Worldwide I Matter, You Matter” was initiated 12 years ago by the You are Never Alone Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-denominational organization I created in Manchester, VT. which fostered caring, connection and hope with the wooden Caring Coins as little gifts of hope. I chose March 28th simply because it was available on the world calendar as much as I could tell.

Over the last 12 years, thousands and thousands of people all over the world have celebrated this day of sharing the “I Matter, You Matter” message with family, friends and people they may not know. There is much to share about the impact of this day and its message.

My own personal experience has shown me that when I share a smile, a hi, a wave, a text people usually respond with the same. Many share a story…it may be a joyful story or a sad story of a loss or loneliness and sometimes it’s just a nod that it’s just nice to be acknowledged.

This year as in the past, individuals, families, schools, businesses, churches and more celebrated Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day. I was so grateful to join in many of these celebrations and as always so inspired by what the “I Matter, You Matter” message means to all ages.

I especially enjoyed being back in Vermont and celebrating with some of my friends who were part of the very first celebration 12 years ago; hearing from then young international counselors, now adults with children who shared the message at Camp Agape, a camp for children with a parent in prison; a then college student who signed a card at Green Mountain College for a child in Bangladesh; a young student here who remembers me sharing the message with him at my grandson’s class last year.

It was so special sharing the” I Matter, You Matter” message with my 1145 Facebook Friends and receiving so many responses back including the RN ambulance driver I met while sharing Caring Coins with the immigrants in Mexico: or my friend who had just lost her Mother and requested Caring Coins with the Remembering Cards for her family… the list goes on and on with many examples of what the “I Matter, You Matter” message means…

So, my friends, I will let the pictures speak for themselves…

Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day, March 28th 2023

Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day on March 28th, 2023 was a huge success here and around the world with thousands of people reminding themselves and each other that “Each one of us matters” with a smile, a wave, a hug, a card, a text, an email, and a Caring Coin making a difference in each other’s lives.

There is no way to be sure if we met out goal of “1,000,000 Acts of Caring Around the World” but one thing is sure and that is that the message was shared and greatly appreciated by everyone who received it. Our hope is that the each of us continues to share and receive this message through showing our caring with acts of kindness every day. Because it’s working!!! Caring is Contagious!!!

Our children are our teachers… The students Eldridge Elementary School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, created a mural outside of their classroom which is filled with all of the kind deeds which the students throughout the school shared with family, friends, teachers and others. Students at Mettawee Community School in West Pawlet, Vermont made a video of students sharing what they appreciated about each other; students at Sunderland Elementary School in Sunderland, Vermont; students at San Miguel School in Providence, Rhode Island, the Religious Ed Students at St Gregory the Great Church, East Greenwich, RI all made posters and stickers which they passed out to teachers, other students, family and friends and others in their communities. And there are so many others… Many businesses challenged their staffs to participate in the “Kindness Challenge” to perform 500 Acts of Kindness by Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day on March 28th after which they had Celebratory Lunches!!!

Joseph Wooten of the Steve Miller Band has been part of Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day since the very beginning. Like Salley, Joseph, has a desire for everyone to feel their worth, their importance, that they matter as much as anyone. Joseph shares this message wherever he goes!

Around the World…Mahmudul Karim has also shared the I Matter, You Matter Day since the very beginning. This year he shared the message for a peaceful world at the Muslim Umrah Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The message was also shared in England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua, India, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Belize, Turkey, Iran, Nairobi and possibly other places we don’t know about. Salley received messages from her Facebook friends around the world.

And our Worldwide I Matter, You Matter message made it to the Marque of the Historic Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich, RI reminding everyone they matter.

Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day, The Beginning

Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day was initiated by the You Are Never Alone Foundation (YANAF) a Vermont grassroots 501 (c) (3) non-profit, non-denominational volunteer organization that fostered caring, connections and hope with the Vermont crafted Caring Coins as tangible reminders of a caring connection.

The first celebration in 2012 was at Friendly’s Restaurant in Manchester, Vermont. Local families and schools shared the message with family and friends. Over 6.000 invitations were shared through Facebook around the world.

This message from one Mother touched many “3/28/12 is my son’s 11th Bday-he is twice exceptional-gifted with a social disability-this day celebrates what I wish everyone in his world understands”.

In 2013, over 17,430 people here in the US., our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, people in Puerto Rico, England, Italy Spain, Bangladesh, Nepal, Korea, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Haiti and places we don’t even know celebrated “I Matter You Matter Day”. The Towns of Manchester, Vermont and Dorset, Vermont proclaimed “I Matter…You Matter Day” which continued for several years.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, of Vermont has shared Caring Coins and the I matter…You matter message with staff and visitors to his offices in Washington, D.C. and Burlington, Vermont. Senator Leahy stated that “…this I matter…You matter is a message that reminds us all to value humanity”.

Read Senator Leahy’s Letter

I Matter, You Matter Day has been celebrated with…

  • Schools have shared Caring Coins and hugs with students and faculty.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs in Vermont and Broward County, Florida and other Youth Groups and parents have celebrated.
  • Veteran organizations visit and share Caring Coins with the residents at Veterans Homes.
  • Voluntary groups visit with the residents at nursing homes.
  • Caring Boxes for the Acts of Caring and posters are exhibited throughout towns, offering an opportunity for everyone to take a moment to notice and express their caring in a simple, personal and sincere way.
  • Many lightly used toys, books and games are donated by kids of all ages for kids less fortunate than themselves. The toys will be distributed through the community food cupboards and shelters in many communities.
  • Calcutt Middle School, Central Falls, Rhode Island. “I Matter, You Matter” was a great day here at Calcutt Middle School, from the very beginning to the very end of the day. As students entered the school building and walked down the halls they were greeted with bright and cheerful projections of the “I Matter, You Matter” poster, or they saw other signs with encouraging messages posted all around the school building. The posters and projections encouraged a lot discussions and excitement to start the morning off right. In homerooms and small groups teachers and students discussed the “I Matter, You Matter” bookmark questions. Students were later given their I Matter, You Matter Caring Coins to wear or to share. Thank you for encouraging this great gift of kindness. Calcutt Middle School, Central Falls RI.
  • Albany High School, Albany, New York: “10 classes participated in Worldwide I Matter, You Matter day. The students were thrilled to receive your tokens. It brightened many days, and many of the coins were passed on to friends, teachers, and parents. It was a great success! Thank you so much for helping our school participate. 180 students received your tokens at Albany High School, and who knows how many more lives were touched by these kind gifts!”
  • Manchester Elementary and Middle School, Manchester, Vermont: “Happy I Matter, You Matter Day! Today, MEMS staff were given an option to celebrate by handing out the printable caring coins laminated. Thanks again for all you do and it’s so wonderful how this day has grown. What a meaningful message to share. Thanks for making a difference in our local and global community!”
  • The I Matter, You Matter message was shared at the Vermont Veterans Home and at Olin’s Offering in Bennington, Vermont.
  • University of New Hampshire: Students at UNH spread kindness through inspiration notecards and Caring Coins. thanks wildcats for spreading the message and celebrating this day!!!
  • Spaulding High School, Barre, Vermont: “We had an amazing day!” So earlier in the month I shared an idea with the staff which they liked. So a Google doc containing the names of every student was shared with the entire staff. Cards were made with the I matter you matter coin copied in the top left. Staff wrote cards to students about what they appreciated or why the student mattered. ..and then turned the cards into me. We put the cards in envelopes with the student name on the outside (so kids wouldn’t know if some got more than others and to help with organization).Every student received at least one card, but most received two or more! The envelopes were sorted by advisory and delivered this morning and during advisory they were given to the students. On my way to the cafeteria, I took about ten steps when a student approached me with a thank you note and I got about another ten feet and another student thanked me for her note. The thanks wasn’t what made me feel good but the fact that my words meant something to these students. Anyway, many staff were very thrilled with participating and more than a few commented that this was a pretty cool thing we were doing.On another note, I thought it was important to spread the message to my daughter’s school. I wrote personal messages to three teachers that my daughter has had connections with. I included the principal in on the messages and explained the world wide I matter day…needless to say the teachers were very touched…Lesson for me is like with so many things in life…quality over quantity…students recognize and appreciate hard work, even if they don’t acknowledge it.

Although the You Are Never Alone Foundation was dissolved when Salley Gibney’s husband developed ALS, the Caring Coins and Worldwide I Matter, You Matter Day continue. You can receive more information by visiting our contact page.