My husband and I were privileged to spend time this week with the wonderful people in our MADD Michigan office. Their outlook is inspiring. They spoke as individuals and as a team in saying that they approach everything they do by staying focused on our mission.
They have experienced a great deal of change in the past few years, and yet, they remain focused. Under the leadership of their new executive director, Tyler MacEachran, they are moving forward with their Vision to Action. “Our goal is excel in victim services/programs/fundraising/volunteerism/awareness; implement best practices from elsewhere; pilot innovative efforts ourselves and become the most effective MADD Chapter in the world at meeting our Mission. And, we want to get there rapidly.”
Their passion for their work is incredible and their love for the people they serve is palpable.
|Jan with the MADD Michigan Team|
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington D.C., when Dr. Martin Luther King and the thousands of courageous individuals walked in peace, dignity, grace and passion. In President Obama’s words, they walked to “awaken Americans’ slumbering conscience. That was the spirit they brought here that day. That was the spirit they carried with them back to their neighborhoods. That steady flame of conscience and courage that would sustain them…”
I remember those days, but I had to grow up to recognize their sacrifice and commitment. I had to experience my own anguish to not only appreciate, but now deeply understand their courage, vision and determinationfor change. Vision. There’s that word again. What a great word. I am so thankful to MADD Michigan for their inspiration.
We, in MADD, stand on the shoulders of thousands who paid the ultimate price of having loved ones killed or who were seriously injured by drunk driving, and had the courage to awaken Americans’ conscience and say NO MORE. We owe them a great debt. We have accomplished so much, but still have more to do.
Our vision is also our goal, and we will not quit until we have eliminated drunk driving in the United States. Sure, sometimes we stumble, but when we stay focused on our mission, we continue to move forward with strength.
President Obama said one other thing that rang true for me today. He said that when we see others suffering, we see our own family. He followed it with, “That’s where courage comes from – when we turn not from each other, or on each other, but towards one another, and we find that we do not walk alone. That’s where courage comes from. And with that courage, we can stand together…” to make change.
It is this spirit that carried our founders forward. It is this spirit that continues to give the courageous and committed men and women in MADD the vision to move forward. Together, we will not stop until we have a nation free from the carnage of drunk driving.