Pass it Down preserves family stories, one card at a time


Before television and the internet, families would sit together and tell stories. Those stories captured a family's history. But as we rely more on digital products in our everyday lives, some of those memories are getting lost.

That's where one local company, Pass It Down comes in. To founder, Chris Cummings family history is important. His stories, became even more important to him when he became his mother's caretaker when he was only 18.

She had Multiple Sclerosis and, later, Dementia "I looked up one day and realized I didn't know a lot about my mom, her stories or her life. And these were things I wanted to know and my brother wanted to know."

Pass it Down was born. An app that prompts you to answer questions about your family history with a written story or video. The result? An online memory book that stores your memories, but there was one problem. "We would love to be able to record my mom, grandparents digitally but that's not what they are comfortable with and what they like to do," Cummings says.

That's where these cards come in. Each ones comes to life at Jones printing in Chattanooga. On the front, a simple question, like what's the biggest adventure you've taken? The recipient writes down their memory in their own handwriting, now preserved forever.

That's one of Creative Director Josh Wagner's favorite parts. "It's meaningful," Wagner says. "It's not typed, it's something that's specific and general to this person, this person is in this handwriting."

The pictures on the front of the cards start from his sketches. "You see a picture of an ice cream cone or the sun, and you think of that memory of you and your mom or your grandmother and your answer comes into place."

The cards, start in Chattanooga, but end up all around the world, trying to preserve something we all have in common. "Time is a precious thing and we never know how much time we have but doing this in incredibly important for you and for your family," explains Cummings.

For more on Pass it Down and how to get started, click here to visit their website.

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