This is the time of year when more people are on the roads and incidents of drunk driving increase. That’s why MADD’s annual Tie One On For Safety campaign, now in its 26th year, encourages people to tie a red ribbon on their car, or attach a red ribbon magnet or window decal in a visible place on the vehicle, in an effort to remind everyone to drive safe, sober and buckled up.
I remember clearly the very first thing I did as a local MADD volunteer. It was only about six months after my daughter, Alisa, was killed by a drunk driver. I wanted to do “something” to make a difference and give back to MADD, and to show my gratitude for the unwavering support they had given me. The director of my local MADD office knew my grief was still very raw, so she gently asked if I would mind helping distribute red ribbons. My family and I literally took thousands of MADD red ribbons and stapled them to cards with information about MADD. It was so therapeutic to know we were doing “something” to make a difference.
All the schools in the area were requesting ribbons that would be given to students to take home, so their parents could tie them on their car antennae. Back in the MADD office, several volunteers and I counted and packaged the ribbons into brown bags, 500 per bag. We then stuffed our cars to the ceiling with these bags, took our trusty maps and delivered them to the schools. It was quite an undertaking.
That awareness was invaluable for our children. Even before Alisa was killed, I remember my children bringing the MADD red ribbons home from school during this time of year. Let me tell you, if I didn’t get that red ribbon on the car as soon as they thought I should, my children certainly let me know about it. Luckily, I had three school-aged children, because when the ribbon became frayed from the weather, I had two more!
Today, I look at my car and wonder where I could possibly tie a ribbon… but thank goodness for magnets and window decals! They are still a very visual reminder for all of us to drive sober.
I hope you will contact your local MADD office to get a red ribbon, magnet or window decal for your vehicle, to remind everyone to drive safe, sober and buckled up this holiday season.