The death of Alex Sheen's father inspired him to create the online campaign called "because I said I would." His mission is to make good on promises to others, just as his dad had before he died from cancer in 2012.
Almost two years later, Sheen is still honoring the lives of others and making good on promises. His most recent cause is preventing others from drinking and driving, and he carried out the mission in the most literal sense.
Sheen's connection to preventing drunken drivers dates back to June 22, 2013. That night, Matthew Cordle was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He crashed into a Jeep driven by 61-year-old Vincent Canzani and killed him. According to an article published in March on BuzzFeed, Cordle's blood alcohol level was double the legal limit for the state of Ohio. When authorities asked him what had happened, Cordle didn't even realize he had been driving, let alone in an accident.
Instead of taking legal advice offered to him in order to escape the charges, Cordle confessed. He did so with Sheen's help, in a video released through the "because I said I would" website. The piece was published on YouTube and titled "I killed a man." It received international coverage.
Cordle received a mandatory six-and-a-half years in prison. He is not eligible for early parole, and his driver's license has been suspended for life. The judge deferred all fine payments until his release.
A year to the day after Canzani was killed, Sheen sought a way to honor the victim and prevent drunken driving.
"I wanted to take it one step further," he told "Trending Now." He made a sign that read: "Hi, My name is Alex. If you have been drinking tonight, I'd like to offer you a free ride home. Someone I know killed a man while drinking and driving one year ago tonight. In honor of the man who died, I'd like to keep the roads safe. …"
Sheen stood outside the busiest bar in his Lakewood, Ohio, neighborhood with the sign, and he admits he received a few weird looks at first. But as the night progressed, some customers of the establishment became comfortable with his offer and took him up on it.
"People make excuses" as they leave a bar at night, he said. "I've been guilty of this in the past. 'You know — I had a couple beers; it's going to be OK.' But it's not OK."
Luckily, Sheen was waiting outside the bar to deliver them home safely. He spent four hours of his Saturday night and Sunday morning commuting back and forth between the bar and people's destinations. He even gave his number to strangers who thought they might need a ride later.
One such passenger told Sheen that his offer came just in time.
"Apparently, he was pulling into a drive-through with his friend," Sheen said. "This man was in the passenger seat, and they almost got in to a fender-bender."
Since they had been drinking earlier in the night, the man took that as a sign and called Sheen, who picked him up and brought him home safely.
Sheen also gave rides that night to some new homeowners and a group of women out on a bachelorette party. Any money they left for the driver was donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Sheen documented the evening in photos and posted them with captions to Imgur, where they have been viewed more than 2 million times.
While his movement supports many causes, Sheen says his actions on the night of June 22 served "one goal, and one goal only: to convince people to not drink and drive."