project leader
Allison M
Hart Crane Park
(Northeast Ohio)
latest update rss
Mailbox Fabrication is Underway!

the project

Never, Ever Give Up - CLE collects one-page, handwritten, anonymous stories from folks in Northeast Ohio all answering the question: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do? We collect stories through our website, at local events, and through scheduled programming with community organizations. We then share all the stories on our Instagram account.

We have stories about finding the strength to leave an abusive relationship, trying to please others but realizing it’s not worth it, being a first generation college student, leaving a job, and comforting a mom who just lost her son to suicide. Our writers say that writing down their hardest times has actually made it easier to talk about it, it helped them find their voice, took some weight off their shoulders, and reminded them how strong they really are.

In response, our followers write back Letters of Hope, words of encouragement support and connection to total strangers. Our followers tell us the stories make them hopeful, inspired, and they are reminded that everyone is going through something they know nothing about, encouraging them to practice gratitude and lead with kindness.

Never, Ever Give Up - CLE is explanding into a public art installation complete with our wall of stories and bright yellow mailbox for our Letters of Hope, so that folks have a place to go to feel not only connected with one another, but also with connected with Cleveland. Starting this summer, you can visit Never, Ever Give Up - CLE in Hart Crane Park downtown in the flats. Cleveland is celebrating a 50 year comeback of Cuyahoga River, a story of Cleveland never ever giving up and its the perfect place and time to launch our public art installation.

the steps

With your help we can do three things: engage in a comprehensive story recruitment process around the region, print more stories to hang and install, and host incredible community events filled with music, food, and activities. With your help, starting this summer, all residents and visitors can view the installation, connect with the stories, take pictures, share with their friends and family, and attend community events where they will find connection, empathy, and hope.

Northeast Ohio is resilient and sharing our stories may be the most important thing we do for ourselves and for others. Help us create a special place in Cleveland where everyone can go to be inspired to never, ever give up.

why we're doing it

About two and a half years ago, I got a phone call. My mom had died that morning in a traffic accident. I didn’t really know what to do and I definitely didn’t want to talk about it. I was convinced that no one out there understood, and if I talked about it I would just bum people out. I ended up learning that if you mute one emotion, you mute them all. Dealing with this grief has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Throughout these past two and a half years I learned more and more about the power of storytelling. I went to an open mic one night and I got on stage and told my story of grief. I was terrified but at the end of the night, there was a line of strangers waiting to talk to me. Some hugged me, cried with me; I made new friends that I still have today. Sharing my hardest times allowed me to connect with people in Cleveland in ways I never knew were possible. Someone did understand. That moment of honesty actually encouraged me and others to keep going and this is why I started Never, Ever Give Up - CLE.

Let's share our stories of hardship because it may be exactly the thing that lights the way for someone else. 


  • Community Outreach Campaign: $650
  • Story & Letter Writing Collection Materials: $150
  • Story Printing for Installation: $1,000
  • Installation of Exhbit & Take Down: $650
  • Mailbox Decal & Installation: $400
  • Event Supplies & Programming: $850
  • Contingency & Permits: $300


ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $219

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $132



Mailbox Fabrication is Underway!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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  • Liz
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  • Allison M