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MADD

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21™ is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 10 minutes at 1-877-MADD-HELP.

Together, these programs ensure that MADD achieves its lifesaving mission.


Teens Making a Difference
By | April 16, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

21 Days in Support of 21: Day 16

Parents: Think your kids aren't listening to you when it comes to alcohol? Think again! Members of MADD's National Teen Influencer Group share their stories on how their parents influenced their decisions around alcohol.

Rachel Budd

Communication with my parents has been a key influence on my choice to be alcohol free until 21. My parents have always talked with me about alcohol and have created an environment where I feel comfortable discussing the issue.

Also, my parents have always told me if I am in a situation that I am not comfortable with they will come and pick me up, no questions asked. This is an important system to have in place because if a teen feels like they will be berated by a parent, they will be less likely to get out of an unsafe situation or one that could lead to them drinking.

Since I have open lines of communication with my parents, I don’t feel the urge to try to find out about alcohol on my own or rely on my peers, which could lead to being pressured into drinking. It is important that parents discuss alcohol with their teens so it’s not up to the teens to learn the negative effects of alcohol on their own.

The topic of alcohol should not be a taboo between parents and teens because teens are curious and it is better that the information comes from a parent.

Kassidy Brown

I first chose to avoid underage drinking because my siblings drank alcohol while in high school, and I decided at that point that I would never drink underage. I was young when my siblings were in high school, but my parents never hid any of this from me. I am grateful for that because it has had a huge effect on who I decided I would be when I entered high school.

I am a 17 year old girl who goes to a public high school in a small east Texas town, so there are opportunities for me to drink, but that's just not who I am. I didn't want to drink in high school first of all because I felt like my parents had already been through enough with my brother and sister, but secondly, I'm a role model in my community and I love it. My parents and I never had a really in depth conversation about drinking, but that's because in the 8th grade when many people who I was hanging out with at the time started drinking, I made it clear to my peers and my parents from the beginning I had no interest in drinking.

Personally, I think the best thing parents can do is talk to their kids early about the effects of drinking underage, get them involved in an activity they really love—for me that was dance—and lastly trust, on both the kid and parents part.

 

Dakota Baker

Choosing to be alcohol free is a choice that I am willing to make. Some of my friends drink because they don’t think that anything will happen to them or that something might already be happening to them. I choose not to drink until I’m 21 because I don’t need alcohol in my body to have fun, instead I can hang out with my friends or play sports without alcohol.

I don’t want to get drunk and not be able to remember what I have done, because that can be very dangerous. My parents don’t want me to drink because they know that drinking underage can cause your brain to not fully develop and they know that sometimes teens don’t think before they do something. I take the stand not to ever drink underage!

Josselyn Garcia

Communication is the key to everything. That is what I remind myself daily. As an only child about to head off to college, my parents are learning to let me spread my wings. They trust me because they know that they have given me the best advice they could give. They trust me because they know I trust them.

Truthfully, my parents are my best friends. Most teens my age don’t share the same relationship with their parents that I share with mine. I am blessed to have the parents I have because if it weren’t for them, I would possibly be headed down the wrong path.

Communication is what builds the trust and it is this trust that allows me to be able to share anything with them, whether it be good news or bad news. If I need help or advice, I turn to them. If I am in trouble, I can always count on them. By being there for me they are giving me someone to turn to in my weakest moments; someone that they know will guide me best.

Receiving guidance from people my age may seem like a good choice, since they face the same things I face. However, I have learned throughout the years that there is no one who knows me better than my parents, and if I receive guidance from other teens, it may lead to negative consequences. 

I choose to be alcohol free because I know the consequences alcohol has on my developing brain and body. I face peer pressure daily; from friends, from media, from stereotypes. However, I stay persistent to my choice not only because I have been brought up in a close family environment, but also because I have been taught to make my own decisions wisely.

I am not hand-held through this moment of my life. In order to be able to stand up for myself in the future, I learned to be conscious of my own choices and face my own consequences. Receiving support from my parents only makes me stronger, and this is all due to the strong bond of communication. 

Ashley Tyson

I chose to be alcohol free until the age of 21 because after taking so many health and medical classes through my school, I really started to understand how dangerous it is for teens to drink because our brains are still not fully developed.

Also, my parents did play a part in me not drinking. My parents are responsible drinkers, they only drink on holidays or special occasions but they always make sure to have picked out a designated driver before they drink or they choose to not go anywhere and they just drink at home. Because of the actions my parents have taken with drinking, they have been a great role model for me to follow.

It is important to talk to your kids about underage drinking because most the time teens get caught up in the moment with peer pressure and they just think hey why not? But if they knew all the facts about it then it could help them make smarter choices when going to party's or hanging out with friends.

I also think that it is important for the adult to lead by example. If you are going to drink then you have to be responsible. If you are not being responsible with your drinking but are telling your kids that they need to be, then they are less likely to listen because they will just think that you are being hypocritical. You have to be their role model!

Sarah Haiken

Hello, my name is Sarah Haiken and I am a 15 year old sophomore who chooses to be alcohol free until I am 21. When I was in fifth grade, my family friend Karen Naclerio-Negrin was killed by a drunk driver. Because I was so young, I thought alcohol in general was terrible. I often got upset when I saw adults around me drinking. It was my parents who explained to me that drinking is OKAY once you're legally allowed.

My parents were completely honest and open with me, and I felt as though I could ask them anything. As I continue through high school, I still feel that connection with my parents and am constantly asking alcohol-related questions. There honesty and openness created another bond, which allows me to feel comfortable asking anything.

From my experiences, I know how important it is for teenagers to talk with their parents about alcohol and ask them questions. However, it is equally as important for parents to openly talk to their children about waiting until they are 21 to drink alcohol.

Maddi Romeo

Alcohol was never really a big subject in my house until 2007 when my grandmothers were killed in a drunk driving crash. After that my parents and I started to talk. It was a little confusing, but they explained to me the dangers of it.

But, it's so important to have that talk. It seems minuscule, but after having these talks with my parents it showed me to not be afraid to talk to them. Once, I was in a situation where I was in a car with a couple girls that I truly felt unsafe with. So I texted my mom I was scared. She told me to just stay calm and she would get to me as soon as she could and to just say I had a church thing I forgot about the next morning. She took the fall for me so I felt safe and didn't embarrass myself with the older girls. 

This kind of trust is everything in my relationship with my mom and dad. The rules are, and have always been, if something happens, whether I don't feel safe or I've done something unsafe, to call them immediately. I won't get in trouble when they get me. Of course consequences might come later but knowing that I can always have a safe way out has lifted such a burden off of my shoulders.

I think this should be something every parent should implement since it keeps kids safe, but also doesn't discourage them from calling by promising immediate punishment. It's gotten me and my friends out of a lot of situations. All of this was founded on the mutual trust and understand between me and my parents as mature and smart people and it's something every family should strive for.


Thank you to our Teen Influencer Group members for sharing their perspective!


Coming up on Day 17: MADD & Austin Police Department Release New Data on Underage Drinking in Texas.


Rhode Island Social Host Charge
By | April 16, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

You may have heard of the recent case in Rhode Island where charges against a woman accused of allowing teenagers to drink alcohol at her daughter's 16th birthday party have been dropped in exchange for a donation to MADD. 

We want to make it clear that MADD WILL NOT be accepting this donation. This sentence sends the wrong message about the dangers of providing alcohol to those who are underage. We won’t take money in exchange for people not being held accountable for their actions.

We know that parents are the biggest influence on their kids’ decisions about alcohol, so what message are parents sending when they allow underage drinking in their home? The wrong one. We’ll never change the culture around how parents view providing alcohol to teens if we support these kinds of sentences.

As much as we’d like to use the money to educate parents about the dangers of underage drinking—especially with PowerTalk 21 day right around the corner, we will not accept the donation under these conditions.

Want to help? Get involved with PowerTalk 21 and help us spread the word, or make a donation now to support MADD’s efforts to prevent underage drinking.


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 15
By | April 15, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Today, MADD Southern Arizona and Communities of Concern (a subcommittee of Pima County Community Prevention Coalition) are hosting a public event that focuses on the importance of parents talking with their kids about alcohol and the dangers of underage drinking.

This event will include a Power of Parents workshop in Spanish to equip Hispanic parents with the techniques they need to start the conversation with their kids about alcohol. Supervisor Ramon Valadez will present a proclamation from the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.

Coming up on Day 16: Teens Making a Difference.


Maryland PowerTalk 21 Parent Town Hall Meeting
By | April 15, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

On April 14th, MADD Maryland hosted a Town Hall meeting for parents, caregivers and concerned citizens to discuss the issue of teen alcohol use.  They were joined by Montgomery County law enforcement officers, members of the Keeping It Safe coalition of Montgomery County, volunteers in the Montgomery County School system, MADD National President Jan Withers, and are parents. 

Participants were engaged and greatly contributed to the conversation.  At the end of the meeting, each participant was asked to make a pledge to reach out to at least two parents and encourage them to speak to their children about the dangers of underage drinking.

4,700 people die each year due to underage drinking. Jan Withers, MADD National President and her husband Joe Sikes share their daughter Alisa's Story.
 
Herman Bonaparte, MD Power of Parents Program Specialist, and Denise Thompson, MD Volunteer Coordinator welcome attendees to MADD Marylan's PT21 Town Hall Meeting.



This event was part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 14
By | April 14, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Maryland PowerTalk 21 Parent Town Hall Meeting

Today from 6:00-7:30 p.m., MADD Maryland will host a Town Hall meeting for parents, caregivers and concerned citizens to discuss the issue of teen alcohol use. MADD will distribute free parent handbooks and provide tips to parents on how to talk to their teens about this important issue.

In attendance at this event will be MADD National President Jan Withers.

To register contact: herman.bonaparte@madd.org or call at: 410.964.5757 ext. 2455. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, but registrations will be accepted at the door.  Refreshments will be served!

Coming up on Day 15: Tuscon PowerTalk 21 Community Event



21 Days in Support of 21: Day 13
By | April 13, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

PowerTalk 21 at the Colorado Sky Sox Game

Join MADD Ohio and Nationwide Insurance at the Colorado Sky Sox Game as they take on the Round Rock Express. Parents can stop by the MADD booth and get information and tips on how to talk to their teen so that they really listen.

Game time is 1:35 p.m.  at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.

Coming up on Day 14: Maryland PowerTalk 21 Parent Town Hall Meeting



Walk in Support of PowerTalk 21 in Richmond
By | April 13, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

At yesterday’s Richmond Walk Like MADD, PowerTalk 21 was featured throughout the day’s events.  In his opening remarks, State Manager Chris Konschak issued a call to action to parents and to community members to start talking to teens about alcohol early and often.

The message was particularly poignant on this day with a number of participants walking in honor of loved ones killed as a result of underage drinking related crashes. 

Nationwide Insurance and MADD VA exhibited side by side in the vendor area of the Walk promoting PowerTalk 21, and distributing flyers with information for how parents can register for free online workshops on April 21st.

Local media was also present and committed to helping MADD spread the word about the importance of talking to our kids about alcohol.

This event was part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.


A Dad’s Determination
By | April 12, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services

Originally published in A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report.

Joey Romero dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps – to serve his country in the military. He also dreamed of becoming a police officer. But his dreams turned into a tragic nightmare on October 29, 2010. While he was walking home from work, Joey was hit by a drug impaired driver just two blocks from his home in Peoria, Arizona. The driver fled from the scene and left Joey there as he suffered from a blow to the head, a broken back and internal bleeding. Two days later, with his father by his side, Joey died from massive head trauma.

Joey, who was 18 years old when he was killed, was the youngest of five children that his father, Jesse Romero, had raised on his own.
“He was my baby,” explains Jesse. “When it happened, I tried to hide my pain from my other kids.”

The drugged driver received a sentence of six years in prison and three years of probation. But Jesse was disappointed in the sentencing. “I thought she got off too easy,” he recalls.

Not knowing how to cope with the grief the Romero family was experiencing, Jesse reached out to MADD to find support for his daughters, and they joined a MADD grief support group. “We felt really comfortable at the MADD meetings. They listened to us and let us talk,” Jesse says. “It really helped – more than the other support groups we tried.”

At one of the meetings, Jesse talked about the hit-and-run laws in his state and the penalties given to offenders. They seemed too lenient and didn’t make sense to him. When one of the MADD volunteers suggested that he could do something about it…that he could work to change the law…Jesse was determined to try.

With MADD providing the information and support he needed, Jesse channeled his grief into action. He went out into the community to gather support. He found a sponsor to push the legislation through, and less than two years after Joey’s crash, Jesse’s hard work and determination paid off.

“Joey’s Law,” which increases the penalties for those who leave the scene of a crash in Arizona, was passed in 2012.

“Because of this law Joey will be remembered forever,” Jesse says proudly.


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 12
By | April 12, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Walk in Support of PowerTalk 21 in Richmond

At today’s Richmond Walk Like MADD you can find out more about  PowerTalk 21 and Power of Parents activities in the state of Virginia.

Richmond Walk Like MADD will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Dorey Park.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.

Coming up on Day 13: PowerTalk 21 at the Colorado Sky Sox Game


A Child Endangered
By | April 11, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services

Originally published in A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report.


Brothers Gavin, 10, and Drake, 14, were best friends and rarely apart. But on the day of Gavin’s crash, they were not together. “Gavin was Drake’s rock and Drake was Gavin’s security blanket,” says their mother, Julie Vander Wel. Even though Drake couldn’t have prevented it, he felt guilty about not being with his brother the day Gavin was killed.

The boys’ parents were divorced and they lived with their mother in Orange City, Iowa. Despite her concerns about their safety when they were with their father (he had previous arrests for OWI — Operating While Intoxicated), the custody order mandated visits with him.

Gavin was with his father on his own that afternoon in July 2009. His father had been drinking. With Gavin in the car, he drove down the wrong side of the road and crashed into another vehicle, killing his son and seriously injuring a man in the other vehicle.

After the crash, Julie wanted to make sure justice would be served in her son’s case, but her victims’ rights were violated. She wasn’t alerted about upcoming hearings and the prosecutor would not communicate with her.

So Julie contacted MADD for help and was connected with a local victim advocate who provided the guidance she needed. A kind hearted probation officer kept her informed of the court dates, which ensured Julie and Drake were in court the day of the sentencing. Julie read her Victim Impact Statement out loud in court and made sure the judge knew how her family had been impacted by the crash.

“You could hear the sobs in the courtroom,” recalls Julie. After hearing Julie’s Victim Impact Statement, the judge handed down the maximum sentence allowed by law.

Today, Julie and Drake make sure Gavin’s voice continues to be heard. Drake, who is now a freshman in college, shares his brother’s story with his friends and distributes MADD bracelets to as many students as he can. Julie is a frequent speaker at MADD events, where she talks about substance impaired driving and child endangerment, and shares what her family has been through.

Julie says, “If Gavin’s story can touch just one person and change a life that would mean everything to him.”


Family Talk Friday
By | April 11, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

By Debbie Weir, MADD Chief Executive Officer

PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, but it shouldn’t just be a conversation you have once and then consider it done.  As a parent, you want to protect them and give them guidance that helps them build healthy, happy lives. That’s why it is important to have ongoing conversations with your kids about the dangers of underage drinking and your expectations of their behavior.

As a mom of two boys, well, now young men, I know that it isn’t always easy, especially at first. Talking with teens about just about anything can often be a difficult task..  My youngest is a freshman in college—a very critical stage in his life. I’ve had the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking with both of my boys many times, and will continue to do so.  Their usual response is, “We know mom!”  But I still use every opportunity to remind them about my expectations and why it is so important.

Family Talk Friday is just another reminder that any day and any reason to talk with your teens about alcohol is a good one.  Underage drinking kills 4,700 people each year! But we know that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive any other message.  

And we’re here to help. Along with our free Parent Handbook, we have other resources available to parents in need of tips and tools to help them have this lifesaving conversation, including Seven Tips for Connecting with Your Teen and Conversation Starters for Talking with Your Teen

Another resource I think you will find helpful is a podcast created for PowerTalk 21 this year by MADD Minnesota in partnership with Mom Enough about underage drinking and the Power of Parents program.  Listen to the podcast here: momenough.com/2014/04/madd.

You can also find additional resources and information at www.madd.org/powerofparents.


Injuries You Can’t See
By | April 10, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services

Originally published in A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report.

On a December evening in 2010, Lee and Christa Hude and their three children were heading home after a visit with Santa at a mall in Lansing, Michigan. While they waited at a traffic light, a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content of .21 crashed violently into the back of their family van. Her 9-year-old son, Trenton, was seated in the back seat of the vehicle.

“The impact was so hard, Trenton’s seat was shoved to the middle of the van and the driver’s vehicle was halfway inside – his radiator was only inches from Trenton’s head,” Christa recalls.

As a result, Trenton suffered a traumatic brain injury with temporary loss of consciousness and vision.

According to Christa, the case seemed clear cut. The driver was drunk, he was a second-time offender and her son was traumatically injured, but the process took 14 months and the drunk driver only received a four month jail sentence with work release, some probation and the loss of his driver’s license. “I felt a lot of disappointment in our justice system.”

Why this kind of sentencing?

“My guess would be that the general public can see a fatality as something terrible, but in most cases of injury, those injuries heal or unless you knew the person before the crash, you might not notice a difference,” says Stephanie, MADD Michigan Victim Advocate.

After the crash, Stephanie assisted the Hudes with the judicial process and provided emotional support to the entire family. Christa says that MADD was instrumental in guiding her and her family through this difficult time. “Initially, Stephanie sent us brochures on the grieving process and information on how this kind of crisis can affect a marriage and how to cope. She even sent a book for the kids, to help them understand what they were going through,” Christa says.
“I felt like when I couldn’t understand what was happening [in our case] from the criminal end, talking to Stephanie gave us direction. She guided us through the situation. She even offered to meet us in court.”

Three years and countless tests and treatments later, Trenton has improved. But he and his parents have had to realize that there are sports he will never play, roller coasters he will never ride and seizures that will continue to require medication to control.

“As for my husband and me,” says Christa, “We struggle with several emotions, like trying to understand why the man who did this was barely punished, fear of being on the road, fear of what Trenton’s future will be like because of his injury and fear that the normal family life we enjoyed before the crash will never return.”


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 10
By | April 10, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Northeast Florida PowerTalk 21 Town Hall Meeting

Today, MADD Northeast Florida will host a Town Hall meeting for parents, caregivers and concerned citizens to discuss the issue of teen alcohol use. MADD will distribute free parent handbooks and provide tips to parents on how to talk to their teens about this important issue.
If you are in the area and want to participate, the event is at 6:00 p.m. at West Nassau High School, 1 Warrior Drive, Callahan, FL.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.


Coming up on Day 11: Family Talk Friday


MADD North Texas Hosts a Blogger Breakfast for PowerTalk 21
By | April 9, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

On April 8th, MADD North Texas held a breakfast meeting at a Dallas café with popular local bloggers and Dallas local Gwen Edwards, a parent of a 22-year-old who was killed in an underage drinking related car crash. The group talked about the impact parents can have on their children’s decisions about alcohol. MADD representatives enjoyed a valuable discussion on this issue with Jennifer Buxton of Real Posh Mom, Trista Perot of Mommy Upgrade, Krystal Hurst of The T-Shirt Mama and Cynthia Smoot of Oh So Cynthia.

 
MADD spokespeople and Dallas bloggers gather for PowerTalk 21


Jeff Miracle, executive director of MADD North Texas, explained teen and parent viewpoints on drinking and the idea behind PowerTalk 21 and the Power of Parents program. He talked about his own conversation about drinking with his son and the importance of open and honest dialogue with teens.

MADD victim advocate Cathy Quaid gave further insight into the Power of Parents program and highlighted tips from MADD’s Power of Parents Handbook, developed in partnership with Dr. Robert Turrisi from Pennsylvania State University.

 
Cathy Quaid talks about the Power of Parents program and the influence parents have on their teen’s decisions about alcohol

Nationwide Insurance agent Tamika Raymond also spoke on behalf of MADD as the national sponsor of Power of Parents and PowerTalk 21. She talked about her own experience receiving calls from customers affected by underage drinking-related car collisions.  

Gwen Edwards, who lost her 22-year-old son in an underage drinking related car crash, shared her own story about the influence of parents and consequences of underage drinking. Her story shed light on the tragic effects of underage drinking and why the conversation with teens about alcohol can’t wait.

 
Breakfast attendees listening to PowerTalk 21 information


Attendees were very engaged – asking questions and diving into the information. Throughout the event, bloggers asked about how others can get involved with MADD and learned about PowerTalk 21 webinars and events like MADD’s 5K race in September in Dallas. Bloggers shared information about their experience and PowerTalk 21 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 



This event was part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.


Gone in an Instant
By | April 9, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services

Originally published in A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report.

On February 27, 2003, 23-year-old Natalie Marti lost her 24-year-old husband, Shawn, and 5-month-old baby girl, Sage, when a drunk driver hit them head on. The family of three was traveling home on a familiar Idaho freeway. The two died instantly. The offender’s blood alcohol content was .21 — nearly three times the illegal limit.

“Words cannot describe the pain I felt emotionally after being told of the deaths of my precious husband and daughter,” says Natalie. “I felt like I had died too.”

In addition to losing her family, Natalie suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was in a coma for three weeks.

“The TBI caused me great impairment,” she recalls. “I had to relearn how my brain works because it works so differently than before it was injured.”

At one point, someone she knew suggested she call MADD for help, but Natalie hesitated. “I thought MADD was a group of old, angry women.”

But she wanted and needed help, so she decided to give MADD a chance.

When Natalie made the call, she was relieved. “The women at the MADD Idaho office were not old and they weren’t angry — they were amazing and so kind,” Natalie admitted. “I loved how they made me feel — while other people were telling me how I should feel, the MADD volunteers and staff assured me that I had every right to be feeling what I was feeling.”

At her offender’s sentencing Natalie had a great deal of support. Her family and friends wrote and presented Victim Impact Statements. Because her brain injury was so fresh and it was hard for her to communicate, she asked the judge if she could show the court a video of the beautiful life she had shared with Shawn and Sage before the crash. He said yes.

As a result, the case was adjudicated with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and aggravated driving, with a sentence of five years for each death and three years for the aggravated driving charge.

Almost a year after the crash, MADD asked Natalie if she would consider speaking at a Victim Impact Panel. So she began telling her story.

“I found this to be very healing,” says Natalie. “Telling my story to others made me feel like something good could come out of this tragedy.”

After the crash, although it was tough, Natalie earned a degree in communications. She says that becoming a volunteer for MADD also helped to pave the way for a new career. Natalie now speaks professionally about her experience, the crash and her healing journey.

She says, “It makes life worth living.”

 


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 9
By | April 9, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Parent Handbook Distribution with Nathen Hale High School in Seattle

Today, MADD Washington is teaming up with the Nathen Hale High School prevention group, Raiders Against Destructive Decisions (RADD), to put together parent packs that include a Power of Parents handbook and other collateral materials at their high school.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.

Coming up on Day 10: Northeast Florida PowerTalk 21 Town Hall Meeting


A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report
By | April 8, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services

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Each year in the U.S., more than 10,000 people are killed and another 345,000 are injured in drunk driving crashes. In connection with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and the 30th anniversary of the national Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), MADD is releasing A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report, funded by the generous support of the General Motors Foundation, to raise awareness around the issues facing victims of drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking.

The new report, the first of its kind, provides an inside look at the current state of crime victims’ rights across the country, highlights the challenges both bereaved and injured victims are facing, shows how MADD is serving those victims, and urges concerned citizens to take action.

MADD is a victim service organization at its core. MADD serves more than 61,000 victims each year, and has more than 1,200 trained volunteer and staff victim advocates nationwide. In addition, MADD’s no-cost Victim Services Help Line is available 24/7 at 877-MADD-HELP. Some of the free services MADD offers to victims include:

  • Emotional support and guidance
  • Referrals to local counselors, support groups and attorneys
  • Help navigating the criminal and civil justice systems
  • Information and advocacy for coping with complex legal, medical and financial issues

MADD continues to advocate for victims and survivors to have their basic rights upheld — because we know that first there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.

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21 Days in Support of 21: Day 8
By | April 8, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

PowerTalk 21 Blogger Coffee Talk in Dallas

Today, MADD North Texas – Dallas will host a blogger event at Bread Winners Café - 5560 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, Texas at 10:00 a.m. This event will connect area parent bloggers with MADD supporters, parent and victim speakers to learn more about MADD’s Power of Parents program and PowerTalk 21.

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this event.

Coming up on Day 9: Parent Handbook Distribution with Nathen High School in Seattle


PowerTalk 21 at the Mississippi Braves Game
By | April 8, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

With the support of Nationwide Insurance, MADD Mississippi and Alliance Sport Marketing (ASM) spent the evening of April 7th at Trustmark Park in Pearl, MS, as the Mississippi Braves helped to kick off PowerTalk 21 on the baseball field.

In addition to the game’s first pitch being thrown by Jashun Griffith, the son of MADD Mississippi Program Manager Shantay Griffith, MADD hosted a tent set up at the park entrance with PowerTalk 21 flyers, pledges, youth handbooks, key chains, and t-shirts. MADD staff and volunteers stood anxious and ready to greet fans with the campaign message.

As a result, MADD Mississippi distributed over 200 flyers and handbooks, collected over 100 safe driving pledges, and made over 200 new friends/supporters. Special thanks to Jason Bennett of ASM, Mike Daly with Nationwide Insurance and Dave Burke of the Mississippi Braves for their efforts in raising awareness and supporting MADD’s mission.   

This event was part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.


21 Days in Support of 21: Day 7
By | April 7, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

PowerTalk 21 at the Mississippi Braves Game

For day seven of the 21 Days in Support of 21, MADD Mississippi and Nationwide Insurance will be at the Mississippi Braves Game as they take on the Mobile Bay Bears. Parents can stop by the MADD booth and get information and tips on how to talk to their teen so that they really listen.

Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl, MS 39208).

Check back tomorrow to see pictures and find out more about what happens at this exciting event.

Coming up on day 8: PowerTalk 21 Blogger Coffee Talk in Dallas


 

 

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