You see, drunk driving crashes are some of the most traumatic events you can experience – and that’s as an adult. For children, it is even more overwhelming and traumatizing.
And, until we reach a future of No More Victims®, we are going to do something to change that.
When you give $35 to MADD, we will send a law enforcement officers teddy bears they can share with these innocent victims. Roughly half of the children killed in drunk driving crashes are riding with the offender. That's right. It's mom, dad or the adult responsible for the safety who is endangering them. Imagine feeling so alone and terrified - and what it would mean to receive a teddy bear in that moment.
That’s it. It’s that simple. Donate some teddy bear magic today.
Drunk driving isn’t an adults-only issue.
Heartbreakingly, young children are often dragged into this 100 percent preventable crime by the very adults tasked with looking after their wellbeing. In fact, half of the children killed in drunk driving crashes are riding with the drunk driver.
Law enforcement officers are left to comfort and soothe these victims in an exceptionally difficult situation. So, we want to help them make it better.
We are asking people like you to donate to provide a teddy bear to law enforcement officers that they can share with children after a crash.
A small teddy bear might not seem like much, but having something soft and cuddly to squeeze in these stressful situations can do more good than you might imagine.
We will be gathering donations for bears all month long. Then, we will distribute the bears to law enforcement departments across the country.
Just imagine the comfort you can provide a child. Please consider a gift to provide a teddy bear today.
A drunk driving crash is immensely terrifying, life-altering and changes you deeply at the core level.
But can you imagine living through the trauma of impaired driving as a child? At MADD, we find the thought horrifying, especially knowing that half of the children killed by drunk driving are riding with the offender.
It makes us want to reach out to comfort each child impacted by this 100% preventable crime. But, since that’s not possible, we're asking you to donate to provide a teddy bear for law enforcement to share with a young child.
These innocent victims don’t know that mom, dad or the responsible adult is making a reckless, life-threatening decision. They don’t understand how their lives are put at risk with every passing mile. All they know is that they are scared.
This month, we will gather donations for teddy bears. Then, we will encourage law enforcement officers to request the bears you donate.
Quickly – more quickly than we would like due to the number of daily drunk driving incidents – they will get into the hands of endangered children.
Adult survivors and victims often share how painful it is to be impacted by drunk driving. The trauma is that much more intense for children, who are betrayed by the very people meant to keep them safe.
Please join us by donating to provide a bear today.
MADD wants to thank the kind and generous supporters of our January Adopt an Advocate campaign.
By making the commitment to support victim advocates like Laura, Kristi and Kimberly and countless others across the country, those donors are, ultimately, supporting victims. And we couldn't bemore grateful.
We will use these gifts to continue offering our services every three minutes to victims of drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking at no charge. And those services, tragically, are needed more than ever with more than 10,000 people killed and nearly 300,000 injured by drunk driving every year.
Throughout the year, the advocates will share insight into their struggles and successes as they put the gifts to work serving those impacted by this 100% preventable crime. They will share quarterly updates to share how donations make a real-life difference to victims and survivors in their darkest hour.
Again, thank you to everyone who supported this campaign and helped us more forward toward a future of No More Victims®.
Omar Carrion was a happy child who had a great relationship with his extended family.
He grew up in Miami, was always a good student and started studying at FIU as soon as he graduated from high school. He had many academic passions but settled on Asian Studies, earning his diploma in 2007.
Omar had a meaningful experience in Japan teaching English where he continued to learn and make new friends. He enjoyed a career with J. Silny and Associates as a Foreign Credential advisor, but, in 2012, Omar left his job to pursue another passion: filmmaking and screenwriting. He made a few short films, was working on several exciting projects and helped create "Phyxius Pictures."
Omar loved baseball and video games, but his joy came from his relationship with his family and close friends. He was funny, happy, optimistic and deeply loved.
All of Omar's hopes and dreams were destroyed when he was killed by a drunk and drugged driver on March 2, 2013. Omar was meeting friends at Tropical Park to play Ultimate Frisbee when life changed forever for his Mom, Hilda, his Dad, Fernando, his sister Tatiana and a group of lifelong friends.
The Carrion Family travel to Miami every year to attend Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash. There is always a team of Omar's friends who attend and fondly honor and remember Omar. Hilda, Fernando and Tatiana Walk to raise awareness about DUI in hopes that no other family will have to endure the pain and grief they have. They feel a connection to the other families who gather to honor their loved ones as well. The Carrion family and friends feel like they are part of a team, something big! They Walk because they love Omar and because maybe they can stop just one person from driving under the influence.
We look forward to seeing the Carrion Family and friends at Miami Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash and hope this special time of coming together helps them feel strengthened.
On August 14, 1997, I was able to witness the birth of my nephew, Damion Michael Henderson.
For the next 16 years, 6 months and 23 days, I watched him grow from an infant into a young man. He was a loving, caring person who dreamed of going to college and playing professional football.
Damion was like most other little boys. As a toddler he liked Blues Clues, then Pokémon cards (because his older brother liked them) and Spiderman.
I watched as he started school, graduated from Kindergarten, made new friends and turned into a “social butterfly”. I remember when was so excited when learned to read.
He was so thoughtful, if he was going to get a treat, he’d want one for his brothers too. He was just a down to earth kid who took life one day at a time. He was a friend to everyone he met.
One of the last Instagram selfies Damion took said “Dewey’s Pizza, then Gameworks. Amazing Day ahead”. Little did he know that on the way home from that outing his life would come to an abrupt end. That amazing day turned into a tragedy that we are all suffering with. The adult who had been entrusted to keep the kids safe (a friend’s father) decided to drink while on the outing with the boys (his son, Damion and another friend).
He then drove at rates in excess of 100 mph, losing control of the vehicle. Damion was ejected from the vehicle, dying a short time later as his two friends watched. The father tried to get rid of evidence, even stepping over Damion as he lay there dying. Our children deserve better than this.
Our family has not been the same since this tragedy. Holidays and birthdays are not the same. We now have to “visit” Damion at a gravesite. The High School Graduation that Damion would have attended in 2016 was a sorrowful event for us. His school placed a Graduation cap, gown and flowers on an empty seat where Damion would have sat. The school band played a song in tribute to him.
Not only did this affect our family, but the driver’s family, the other friend who witnessed this along with the many other people who stopped to help at the crash scene as well as all of the many friends Damion had.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has endured the tragedy of losing someone to the senseless act of drunk or drugged driving and our hope is to end these tragedies. Kids shouldn’t have to worry that the person taking them for a ride may end up killing or hurting them.
I listen to people who feel unheard. I stand with victims who too often realize that it’s called the “criminal” justice system, not the "victim" justice system.
But, mostly, I simply help victims realize they aren’t alone.
That’s what I did for Judy, whose daughter was killed by Dylan Meyers, a repeat offender who blatantly laughed off the court’s slap on the wrist. As we sat in court together, Judy said, “Just the fact that you are sitting here next to me tells me I don’t have to do this by myself.”
Judy isn’t alone.
This year, we are aiming to activate 51,000 new and previous supporters, and we hope you will join us. If you do, I’ll send you quarterly email updates letting you know how your gift is making a real difference in victims’ lives.
Between more than 10,000 killed and 295,000 injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes, there are more than 305,000 victims a year in need of our help. That’s 35 people per hour.
Making a $35 membership gift today will ensure we can continue traveling to be at victims' side at court hearings and answer their calls to our 24/7 Victim Help Line.
If you have already given to the campaign through the mail, thank you so very much. Truly, I am touched by your generosity.
I am not just an advocate. I am a victim of drunk driving, too.
Sometimes, the mission to end drunk driving can seem overwhelming, but I am here to tell you with absolute certainty – we are making a difference!
What Do Chips Have to Do With Preventing Drunk Driving?
Everything! MADD, Tostitos and UBER are teaming up to remove 25,000 potential drunk drivers from the roads on Super Bowl Sunday!
If you think about it, the average adult football fan will be watching the Big Game with a chip in one hand and an alcoholic drink in the other. But how do we make sure everyone gets home safely?
Fans have a new way to “Party Safe” thanks to Tostitos providing a safe ride home via Uber. By simply entering a Tostitos Tortilla Chips UPC code into the Uber app, fans nationwide can receive $10 off their ride on February 5th.
Regardless of what team wins the biggest football game of the year, MADD wants everyone to win by having roads free of drunk drivers. In 2015 nearly half of all traffic fatalities were caused by drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday — compared to 28 drunk driving deaths on an “average” day. Every death an injury is 100% preventable every time!
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans Tight End lost two of his biggest fans, his aunt Peaches and uncle Bryan, who were killed by a drunk driver on their way home after watching him play in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. Following this tragedy, Delanie partnered with MADD to help people stay safe on the roads during football season and all year round.
“Having a good time and being safe go hand in hand," says Delanie, a MADD volunteer. “Losing the Super Bowl is nothing compared to the real heartbreaking loss I suffered that night.”
That’s why MADD and Delanie are asking everyone to:
• Plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver if your plans include alcohol.
• Take the MADD pledge to Party Safe on Super Bowl Sunday.
• Check out how to get $10 off your Uber ride one Sunday, Feb. 5th (only available for use 2/5/17; while supplies last).
Everybody wins when everybody plans ahead to party safe!
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.
|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.
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.
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
“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.
When someone you love is killed by a drunk driver, all you have left are memories.
Your future can be reduced to despair or it can be propelled into advocacy that helps save the lives of others.
I watched the latter played out in the lives of the Rooney family in Ohio. A drunk driver killed 36-year-old Annie Rooney, an advocate and attorney, July 4th, 2013. Annie, an avid mountain biker who was looking for a sponsor to continue excelling at the sport, was driving home after picking up a bike at a friend’s house. The offender was going 100 miles per hour, resulting in several people calling into the police to report her erratic driving. An off-duty officer also pursued her because he witnessed her driving at dusk with no lights on through a school zone. READ MORE ABOUT ANNIE.
The driver was more than twice the legal limit and had been previously arrested for drunk driving three times.
In the midst of their mourning, Annie’s family began a mission… to have the state of Ohio improve the ignition interlock for all drunk drivers. Throughout the process of developing the law, the Rooney’s never missed a hearing. Annie, who had worked diligently as a prosecuting attorney on domestic violence and DUI cases, deserved a law in her name… Annie’s law.
For a while, it looked like the clock would expire for Annie's Law. Her family, including MADD National Boardmember Walt Rooney, went on Facebook Live with a plea. WATCH IT NOW. We rallied support and conducted a full-court press.
Finally, on December 6th, the bill was passed. It was unanimous. I had the privilege of being there at the State Capitol in Columbus, Ohio as the vote came in and watch the tears flow down the faces of the family.
Annie would live on in this law, “Annie’s Law”. And over the years, while the pain and suffering will continue for the family, the state of Ohio will reap the benefits of their dedication.
Lives will be saved thanks to them. And someday, all of us will be able to live in a world with NO MORE VICTIMS®.
A moment in time can change everything – just ask Lisa Black.
On October 3, 2014, Lisa was driving to pick up her children from school, idly wondering about also picking up Chinese takeout.
In the next instant, her life was turned upside down. A drunk driver hit her head on.
The next thing she remembers is waking up pinned in her destroyed vehicle feeling as if her body was on fire.
She does not remember much about the crash itself. But she does remember thinking about how she would not be able to be there for her two children and her family—about how her life was about to be over or at the very least change drastically. Wondering if she would make it, Lisa fought for her life as she thought about her children.
"I can’t die. I have to be there for them (her children). They’re my world," she told herself.
Lisa was a school teacher for 23 years. The officer, who worked with a team for more than an hour to extract her from her demolished vehicle, happened to be a former student, whom she taught in the 3rd grade. This was a useful coincidence, as it allowed the officer to call her husband immediately to let him know about the crash.
She was admitted to the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center, where they performed multiple surgeries to rescue her. Lisa arrived at the hospital with a tibial plateau fracture, which is one of the most critical loadbearing areas in the human body. Fractures of the plateau affect knee alignment, stability, and motion. Early detection and appropriate treatment of these fractures are critical for minimizing patient disability and reducing the risk of documented complications, particularly posttraumatic arthritis.
The injury required two plates and 10 screws, an external fixator placed on her right leg, and ligaments rebuilt in her left leg using cadaver parts. An external fixation device may be used to keep fractured bones stabilized and in alignment. The device can be adjusted externally to ensure the bones remain in an optimal position during the healing process. External fixation is a method of immobilizing bones to allow a fracture to heal. External fixation is accomplished by placing pins or screws into the bone on both sides of the fracture. The pins are then secured together outside the skin with clamps and rods. The clamps and rods are known as the "external frame."
She also had multiple broken ribs, four fractures in her neck, two fractures in her back, a dissected artery in her neck, a broken left femur, as well as multiple broken bones in her right hand.
Lisa was placed in a nursing home upon discharge from the hospital as she was not well enough to have rehab immediately. Once Lisa was home she had around-the-clock care from her husband and home health. Eventually Lisa was able to go to outpatient therapy five days a week for many months to learn how to walk again and was able to get back to her life slowly but surely.
Just six months following this horrible tragedy, thanks to motivation from her family, Lisa walked her first 5k at Walk Like MADD in Virginia.
But Lisa wasn't satisfied. She set a goal of regaining the ability to run again. The doctors at UVA were skeptical, but they encouraged her to pursue that dream.
Today, she can run. MADD is thankful for her decision to use her story to inspire others. Lisa annually participates in Walk Like MADD. She speaks at universities, schools, and with law enforcement programs to let officers know they truly are making a difference with their efforts against drunk driving.
“I still fight with pain on a daily basis,” Lisa said, “But I tell myself I’m not going to sit on the sidelines. I’m going to get back in the game. And that’s what I did!”
One life lost is one too many. It’s a sentiment that strongly bonds MADD and Texas-based advertising and communications agency GDC Marketing and Ideation in the desire to save lives on Texas roadways.
As a strategic partner with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), GDC has planned and implemented multiple statewide initiatives for the state agency, including educating motorists on the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. Spurred by its organizational mission to “Inspire Change,” GDC created the on-going Plan While You Can campaign for TxDOT that urges drivers to make a plan for a sober ride home before they go out and consume alcohol. Ever committed to expanding upon its expertise on the issue of drinking and driving, GDC invited MADD to deliver a Victim Assistance Training course to its employees.
The full-day training covered topics such as how to address drunk driving survivors, the aftermath of bereavement and injury, and law enforcement’s response to substance impaired driving crimes. MADD National Senior Director of Victim Services Lauren Rowe and San Antonio Police Detective Michael Moore served as presenters and were joined by Abraham Diaz, Rosie Moncada and Americao Moncada who shared personal testimonials of their journey after losing loved ones in drunk driving crashes.
“The training had a strong impact on our employees,” said GDC Partner and COO Beth Wammack. “Through our work with TxDOT, we seek to give a voice to the families whose lives are forever changed by drunk driving crashes. The information shared during the MADD training will be beneficial in how we continue to shape and share these stories.”
If you would like to learn more about the training MADD provides, please call our national office at 1-877-ASk-MADD.
Don't miss what drunk driving victim Joshua Jahn says at the 14-minute mark!
On behalf of Joshua and all drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors, please serve as a difference maker by donating to MADD today. To support our campaigns and programs during the rest of the year, we need to raise $300,000 this month. We are almost 40% of the way. Nationwide will match all donations up to $200,000 made before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. Your gift will allow us to offer victims like Joshua support at no charge, honor law enforcement, educate teens about underage drinking and advocate for more effective laws.
On October 18, MADD West Central Florida held a Power of You(th) presentation to 67 virtual school students. Florida Virtual School students often miss the messages the traditional school students will hear through live presentations in their schools.
The software program that Florida Virtual School uses allowed MADD Program Manager Sharon Hall to present the Power of You(th) in its full form, including videos, to 67 students and teachers from the Driver’s Education Club. Through this software, the students can ask questions of the presenter, and they can answer any questions the speaker has for them by clicking on a letter or number. All students were very interactive and engaged as Sharon educated the teens about underage drinking dangers and consequences, and shared her personal story about losing her son, Louis.
The presentation was coordinated by 2 of FLVS students – Brittnay Parsons and Bailey Sims, student members of the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition’s Leadership Academy. These young ladies worked for months in 2015 and 2016 with their teachers and administration to arrange
he logistics and permissions for this program to be held. Since the spring presentation, there have been 2 of these – with about 135 students reached. They will be holding another one in the spring of 2017. Hats off to these talented students from FLVS for spearheading this project!
This week, Google announced an exciting new phase in its self-driving car project with the spinoff of a new company called Waymo. The new company follows eight years of work by Google to revolutionize transportation in America.
This progress could not come at a better time. Traffic fatalities increased by 7.2 percent in 2015 and are expected to increase by up to 10 percent in 2016. Technology can reverse this trend.
Self-driving cars are another technology that could lead to the elimination of drunk driving. Their development will help us reach our ultimate goal of No More Victims®.
We are in the middle of tremendous growth and change in technology development. MADD looks forward to Waymo furthering the incredible progress already made by Google as we work with our many partners to eliminate the 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving.
If you woudl like to join with MADD in support of lifesaving technology, please consider donating here.