CLEVELAND — A local man has a unique offer for the women who escaped a Seymour Avenue home after spending a decade in captivity.
“As a community, Cleveland, Ohio, has a lot of heart still left to show you, and in the spirit of that I wish to make a promise,” he said, directing his statement to Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
Alex Sheen, founder of “Because I Said I Would,” would like to dedicate 10 days of his life “to conduct kindness at their request.”
He gave several examples, from cleaning up neighborhoods to walking across Ohio to raise awareness about sexual violence.
Sheen started “Because I Said I Would,” an organization dedicated to making and keeping promises, in his father’s memory.
“If dad said he was gonna be there, he showed up,” Sheen explained.
He sends out cards, on which people may write their promises. They’re then shared through his website and on Facebook.
“I want (the survivors) to know there are still men and women in this world who dedicate their lives to kindness, and I think as a city we have some duty to ourselves, to these women, to show that we’re still capable of happiness,” Sheen said.
He added that his offer is not a publicity stunt or a way to solicit donations for his own organization.
“I want them to know if this offer in any way puts stress on their life, please ignore this message, ignore me,” he said to the survivors.
Knight, Berry and DeJesus went missing from west side neighborhoods in 2002, 2003 and 2004 respectively.
They broke free on Monday after Berry got the attention of some neighbors who helped to break down the door.
Ariel Castro, 52, has been charged with kidnapping and rape. Additional charges could be filed once the case is presented to the grand jury.