You Can NOT Be Replaced began in 2012 after the loss of a 7th student to suicide from our local high school. Our daughter Emily was a freshman with the first and a freshman in college for the last. Frustrated that there didn't seem to be an end and that the young people needed to be empowered to make an impact she blurted, 'Don't they realize they can't be replaced?!' We started the organization by chance with the purchase of 500 passable wristbands for local kids. One donation for more and then another and 5 years later we have 96,000+ circulating the USA, Canada, UK and Australia, We have events for local students, work closely with our schools and travel outside our community to speak at schools and other communities.
While the suicides were why we began, we are not a crisis mental health group. We stepped back to listed and watched what was already in the works in our area. What we saw was a great need to build community, improve communication and reach out to young people. Frankly, you can have the best statistics in the country but if you do not have the trust of the young people you are powerless.
Our goal is to reduce the factors that can contribute to someone in crisis while empowering young people and families to improve relationships, communication, and trust. Compassion for others, kindness and altruism are engrained in our passable wristbands and we hear stories from all over the country from people who have been moved by them. We also address substance prevention and decision making while we encourage people to simplify and redefine success.
Since we began we have had the pleasure of working with an amazing team of young adults to form our content and reach out to their younger peers, have developed a school assembly program and had events for local youth and families. We work closely with our local high school students and we travel outside of our area sharing what we've learned to over 50,000 students and parents in just the last 6 years.
We hope to continue to grow, increase our outreach locally and be a help to other communities.