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Adopt an advocate. Spread hope.

I’ll never forget the strength and the courage I received from my victim advocate after my son Dustin was killed by an underage, drinking and drugged driver.

Michelle provided me with a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Ultimately, she gave me hope that one day I would smile again during a time when everything seemed dark.

That’s why we are proud to share the 2017 membership campaign. We are asking all MADD supporters to renew their membership pledge today by “adopting” an advocate, the individual who offers emotional support and help to a victim in their time of need.

Many people may have participated in our annual January membership campaign previously, and we can't say thank you enough to these core members who make it possible fight drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking. We hope everyone will join us in 2017 as well.

We have set a goal of bringing in 51,000 members to symbolically represent the fact that someone is killed by drunk driving every 51 minutes.

And, for that, we need everyone who believes in a future of No More Victims® to speak up!

Let's meet the advocates:

 

Kristi covers nearly 80 counties in Illinois. She struggles to fund all the trips and visits needed to sit and hold a hand or attend a court hearing.

Often, she is the person walking into a person's life when everyone else is walking out.

 

 

Kimberly felt called to serve in South Carolina after her best friend Nancy, former Sen. Strom Thurmond’s daughter, was killed by a drunk driver.

She understands that she can’t bring back Nancy or any of those lost, but she can make a difference in their loved ones’ lives.

 

  Serving all of southwest Missouri, Laura acted as the voice for the victims in the Dylan Meyers case, which made headlines last year thanks to the offenders' blatant lack of remorse.

 

When you pledge support for an advocate by renewing your membership, that advocate will share quarterly updates so you can witness firsthand the difference you are making in real people's lives.

We hope you will consider helping us reach our goal of 51,000 members by adopting one of these dedicated difference makers.


Help, Hope and Healing

MADD West Texas Program Manager Vanessa Luna-Marquez has been speaking up against drunk driving – and people are hearing her!

She earned recognition from 34th Judicial District Attorney Jaime Esparza for her service to the community.

"It is with great pleasure to present you with the HELP, HOPE, HEALING, VOICE award at this year's 'A Voice Against Crime' 10-mile walk across El Paso," a letter from DA Esparza reads. "You are being recognized because you play an important role and go the extra mile in our mission to provide HELP, HOPE, HEALING and VOICE to victims of crime on their long road to recovery. You are truly an asset to our community's victims."

Vanessa said she was honored and humbled to be recognized.

"Over the years working at MADD, I have met many families whose lives have been impacted and changed when their loved one is killed or injured in a drunk driving crash," Vanessa said. "I feel blessed to be part of their lives and help take healing steps; it is an honor to keep the legacy of their loved ones alive thru my work in the community."

MADD provides a victim service at no charge every three minutes, making it one of the largest nonprofits for victims of violent crimes. It is only through the dedication of people like Vanessa that we are able to be there for so many people.


Drinking and drug use myths - and how to help teens see the truth

By: Brian Marquis, Public Liaison Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Many teens are not aware of the serious risks drugs and alcohol poses to their health, to their success in school, and to their future.

So the question is: What can communities do to effectively educate this generation of teens about drug abuse?

One way is for school staff, parents, and students to work together on awareness events that will provide teens with the facts about drug use. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is a national health observance designed to arm communities with the materials and tools they need to influence teens to say no to drugs.

Inspired by the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health, NDAFW is in its seventh year and will be held from January 23 through 29, 2017.
"This week is designed to counteract the myths teens have about drug abuse, often reinforced by their peers, the Internet, and the entertainment industry," said NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "When given the facts from people they trust, teens are in a better position to make good decisions about drug use.”

All around the country, science teachers, health teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, drug prevention programs, and community support programs are using the science-based information available FREE from NIDA in their curriculum, school assemblies, PTA meetings, and evening workshops to get the truth out. In some cases, local research scientists and government officials can be invited to participate in these important events.

This year, NDAFW is expecting more than 2,000 events with every state represented and a handful of international sites with registered events. These events range in size and scope, but they are all focused on educating and communicating with teens about drug and alcohol use and its consequences. NIDA staff can provide ideas and information to help make an educational event successful.

Some event ideas may include:


• A school assembly
• An addiction-themed art contest
• A graffiti fact wall
• A trivia night
• A panel discussion with local law enforcement, substance abuse counselors, and individuals affected by drug abuse.
• A government proclamation.

For additional information, visit the National Drug & Alcohol Facts website or email NIDA at drugfacts@nida.nih.gov


Voices of Victims: Kristi Hosea

“I’m not a victim,” I told myself the first time an email regarding a job working as a victim advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving showed up in my inbox.

“I’m not a mother,” I told myself the second time.

The third time? I became the person who walks into a person’s life when everyone else walks out.

Nine months later, I became a drunk driving victim, and I knew I had to fight harder.

A year later, I became a mother, and I felt called to make the world a better place, a safer place for my child.

Today, nine years later as a victim advocate who covers nearly 80 counties in Illinois, my job can mean explaining the lengthy court process, working with a food pantry to deliver a meal or simply holding a hand to bring comfort.

Often, I struggle to secure travel funds to attend court hearing. It always breaks my heart to turn down a request.

That’s why we are asking you today to proudly declare yourself a MADD member. MADD aims to have 51,000 members this year to symbolically represent the fact that someone dies from drunk driving every 51 minutes.

Your gift will allow me to better serve victims and reduce drunk and drugged driving in Illinois and across the country.

Throughout the year, I’ll send you updates to let you know how your gift is being used, how it has touched lives and how it is making the world a better place.

I believe in what I am doing. I hope you do too.


How did 2016 end?

Asking for $300,000 wasn't easy. We knew it was a lot to request from our supporters, but we also knew it was vital to help victims, advocate and support lifesaving technology.

Thousands of people stood up to demand an end to drunk driving, a 100% preventable and violent crime. Together, we raised nearly $260,000 to provide victims with a service at no charge every three minutes, to advocate for justice in our laws and courtrooms, and move lifesaving technology to the market faster.

This year, we face some challenges, but we remain dedicated to moving from more than 10,000 victims a year to No More Victims®.

And thanks to you, we have the ability to do so.

We asked people to share why they donate to MADD. Here are just a few reasons people shared:

 

"My son was hit by a drunk driver, and it was the driver's third offense. Fortunately, my son lived, but it was an emotional experience I will never forget. I pray people will think before they drink." – Sherma Jones

 "Our donation is made in honor of our precious grandchildren, Ryan and Kaitlyn Jahn, and their sweet momma, Mandy Jahn, who were all killed by a drunk driver on November 6, 2008. Yet, even in their absence, Mandy, Ryan, and Kaitlyn's story continues to touch hearts, change   lives, and prayerfully be instrumental in ending this preventable crime once and for all."– Karen and Ed Jahn

 "We're donating to help make our road safer; a drunk driver killed our daughter on 12/22/2007. We just want to bring awareness to our society that nothing more devastating than seeing your own kid passed before us."– Tguyen

These are just a few of the responses we received. Many are from victims or survivors. Others come from people who KNOW there is a solution to this epidemic.

And with your help, we will get there.

Thank you for your generosity.

"We're donating to help make our road safer; a drunk driver killed our daughter on 12/22/2007. We just want to bring awareness to our society that nothing more devastating than seeing your own kid passed before us."– Tguyen




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