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Looking Back, Looking Forward

From kicking off Power Talk 21® in Houston, Texas...to sharing the stage with the National Football League at two universities in Ohio... to recognizing Law Enforcement at an event in Atlanta, Georgia... to attending in a similar gathering in Long Island, New York... to meeting with government officials in a variety of states... I’ve had a busy and very rewarding few weeks! 


Delanie Walker at Hiram College


It was an honor to get to know Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker as he shared the story of his Aunt Peaches and Uncle Bryan who were killed by a drunk driver shortly after they left the Super Bowl to watch Delanie played. The Hiram College students were definitely impacted. Delanie is truly an authentic MADD family member.



With Juan De La Garza

The National Kick-off event for Power Talk 21, held in Houston, Texas, featured Houston Mayor Annise Parker and MADD volunteer Juan De La Garza, whose sister Alejandra was killed by a drunk driver.  Power Talk 21 is directed at the parents of teenagers to help with the discussion of the dangers of underage drinking.  I met Alejandra’s son (now without a mom) and could only think about what might have been.



Atlanta Law Enforcement Recognition Awards

 
In Atlanta, Georgia, and then in Long Island, New York, hundreds of law enforcement officers were recognized for their efforts in keeping drunk drivers off the roads.  It is their dedication and their constant hard work that gives me great hope that someday drunk driving will be eliminated.



With Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus

I also had the opportunity to meet with legislators in several states, including Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, as MADD continues to work toward laws that will require ignition interlock devices for ALL offenders. As we moved toward passing all-offender IID laws in each state, we will be using the best technology we have in the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.

As I said, it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks, but it has been my honor to meet MADD volunteers and supporters across the country and hear their stories and see their impact. I look forward to meeting many more of you as we continue our work to save lives and serve victims.


Volunteers are the Key

This week is National Volunteer week. We are so grateful for all of the wonderful MADD volunteers we have across the country, who are not only making an impact in their communities, but they are saving lives!

Here are just a few ways our incredible volunteers are making an impact:

  • Advocate for Change. Volunteers work to strengthen existing laws and enact new ones.
  • Lend a Shoulder. Volunteer victim advocates provide emotional support to drunk and drugged driving victims/survivors as well as guide them through the criminal justice system.
  • Share their Story. Volunteers speak at schools, civic groups, clubs and other organizations, sharing their story and helping to raise awareness.
  • Raise Funds. Many of our Walk Like MADD events are run entirely by dedicated volunteers, helping to raise awareness and funds for MADD in their community.
  • Raise Awareness. Volunteers represent MADD at public awareness events such as parades, fairs, and safe proms and graduation events.
  • Administrative Support. Volunteers help at MADD offices by answering phones, filing, copying or performing other office support duties.
  • Court Monitoring. Volunteers gather data about the criminal justice system in order to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency to promote appropriate prosecution and sentencing thus reducing the likelihood of repeat offenses.

We are so grateful for each and every one of our volunteers and the work that they do. MADD would not be successful without their dedication, support and generosity.

If you are interested in becoming a MADD volunteer to help save lives and serve victims, please click here and fill out our online form to get started.


Lifesavers 2015

I had the opportunity to attend the Lifesavers Conference in Chicago last week. Nearly 2,000 state and local highway safety officials, police officers and other first responders, private and non-profit program providers, students, academicians and others gathered to focus on safety.

The topics were great and so were the speakers. And, there were more than eighty workshops from which to choose. The variety of subject matter meant there was something for everyone. The issues presented and discussed were current and relevant. Each one that I attended was engaging and enlightening. In addition, I served as the moderator for victim impact panel.

The opportunity to listen to and meet NHTSA Administrator Mark R. Rosekind, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton—a 30-year advocate for Illinois traffic safety legislative advancements, National Safety Council President & CEO Deborah Hersman and other agency and industry representatives was exciting.

It was also special to meet so many of our "lifesavers”—the men and women who, each day, go out and keep our country safe, educate others, teach our children, keep us out of harm’s way, and so much more. I was honored to be in their presence and see first-hand how committed they are.

This is a conference not to be missed—I was proud to represent MADD and humbled to be in the audience of all those individuals that make our lives safer.


One Good Turn: a New Direction for Used Vehicles

There are a lot of ways to get rid of a used vehicle, but only one way that can help keep your loved ones safer on the roadways. Check out our new video about MADD’s One Good Turn vehicle donation program to learn more:

By donating an unwanted car, truck or boat to MADD, you’ll support our mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. It’s a great way to make a big impact with just a little effort.

Call our car donation program toll-free 1-855-GIV-MADD (855-448-6233) or visit carsformadd.org to get started today!


Announcing New Partnership with the American Grandparents Association

After a drunk or drugged driving crash, grandparents are often left behind to pick up the pieces. And sometimes they even find themselves raising their grandchildren when a parent is killed, like Nina and Gary Walker, whose daughter Ginger was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 22 leaving behind her three-year-old son Shaye. The Walkers found themselves grieving the death of their daughter and helping their grandson cope at the same time.

The American Grandparents Association, the benefits organization of Grandparents.com, is joining forces with MADD to help eradicate these senseless deaths for their next generation of loved ones. Five dollars of the $15 annual American Grandparents Association membership dues paid by new and renewing MADD donors and supporters who join will go to help MADD save lives and serve victims of drunk and drugged driving.

The American Grandparents Association connects and nurtures America’s 70 million grandparents and their families, by giving them access to special benefits and information on topics that matter most—health, family, money and more.

Click here to learn more about this partnership.

MADD is privileged to work with both the American Grandparents Association and Grandparents.com, and we appreciate their support in helping us save lives and prevent injuries across the country.


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