WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING YOU
EVER HAD TO DO?
Northeast Ohio is known for being tough and it's because of the people. That is why we are asking folks to share one-page, anonymous, handwritten stories, all answering the question: What is the hardest thing you ever had to do?
Maybe your story is about coming home after losing your job, overcoming a health scare or illness, getting sober, staying sober, surviving physical trauma, struggling with weight loss, moving to a new place, telling your family you're gay, forgiving someone, asking for forgiveness, facing discrimination, staying married, getting divorced, or losing someone you love.
Everyone has a story. The work you do to find a way through hard times and the work you do to continue to care the pain shows strength. Often it can be hard to share stories that expose our pain and struggles, but sharing is a form of bravery. It gives the writer a chance to find their voice and put down on paper how they dealt with hard times. It also allows the reader to connect, feel hope and inspiration, and an opportunity to awe at all the strength that already exists here in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio.
Sharing our stories may be the most important thing we do for ourselves and for others. Going through hard times can feel like a walk alone but the act of bearing witness to the pain of others can create community. If the burden is left solely on the individual it can become too hard to carry. That is why we strive to build a community.
Anyone can write a Letter of Hope. These letters of encouragement, connection, support, or gratitude can help someone feel seen and supported. It is sometimes hard to think of what to say to people share their pain, but it is so necessary to practice empathy. We must acknowledge their experience and encourage each other to Never, Ever Give Up.
Never, Ever Give Up - CLE started in 2018. It is a storytelling project honoring the perseverance of Northeast Ohioans while providing a place for everyone to send hope and feel inspired. We collect anonymous stories and letters and share them through multiple platforms, building community throughout the county and world.
We value honesty, diversity in our writers and stories, and the hard work individuals do to overcome difficult times.
We believe that Northeast Ohio is a special place and we believe in the power of storytelling.