"You Matter" signs crop up on the west side
GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Simple black and white signs have cropped along North Bend Road over the last week. The signs are marked with messages such as "Don't Give Up" and "You Matter."
Don Ruberg bought the signs and set them up around his neighborhood.
"It was really an experiment. I was really was trying to see if anyone notices or cares. And that was just last Saturday," Ruberg said.
Ruberg heard about the signs over the summer when he started working for a company based in Oregon. One of his colleagues, Jake Wolff, and his wife, Amy, printed the signs after hearing about the suicide rate in the town where they live.
"It's the helplessness; I don't know how to help but I want to be of help," Amy said in a video posted on her website.
The signs were an instant hit in Newberg, Oregon. Word spread about them on Facebook. The Wolffs set up a website and have received orders for the signs from around the world including Australia and Africa. Ruberg said the Wolffs do not profit from them.
"It's hitting a chord with people. Somehow it's resonating. People are looking for some hope and something positive," Ruberg said.
Ruberg set up two signs outside of his alma mater, LaSalle High School. He partnered with the campus ministry to spread the message.
Students at LaSalle High School recently heard from a speaker about signs of depression and suicide during suicide prevention week. Four years ago, a student tried to take his own life in one of the classrooms.
"I've known a lot of people who I've gone to school with who have been depressed, who've attempted suicide or committed suicide. I mean it really is a problem especially with our generation," said Brendan Kolbinsky, a senior at the school.
The signs outside the school are a reminder to students each day that people care about them--no matter what.
"The simple message of 'you matter' parallels what we say each day at LaSalle High School. What you do matter and what you say matters," said Principal Aaron Marshall.
Don Ruberg said he will likely order more of the signs to post in other areas to spread a message of love.
"I know it's a trite saying, but if you can actually save just one life you did something," Ruberg said.
To learn more about the signs, click here.