We could look back at 2019 by the numbers, but that wouldn’t tell the whole story. So we are going to look back at 2019 by the story and use it to tell you the numbers. We always want to take a moment to look over our last year, to thank you-the people who moved the MADD mission forward throughout the year, and to use the story of the year prior to help us write our even better story for the next.
So here is MADD Nebraska 2019, in a nutshell.
-Victim Speakers connected with over 1,000 DUI offenders through our Victim Impact Panel Program, creating life-changing moments for those convicted of impaired driving. MADD’s Victim Impact Panel program is one of the biggest chances we have to change behaviors when it comes to impaired driving. By educating those who have been arrested for DUI or MIP on the true consequences of their crime, we are helping them to make better choices in the future. The feedback we receive from these panels is incredible. They work to shift the focus to what could have happened and how lucky each attendee is because they are sitting there. The victims that share their stories are incredible. Taking their most painful experiences and sharing them with others to help create change.
-Our communities heard the MADD message. MADD Staff and speakers reached over 2,500 people through speaking engagements. One of our favorite things to do is share the MADD message. Every time we get the opportunity to speak in front of any group big or small, we know that we are helping more people truly connect with what it means to be MADD. Every time we speak in the community we are moving the mission on step closer to no more victims. Educating our community about the real risks associated with impaired driving and the real consequences of the choice helps to change behaviors.
-Parents and Teens were empowered to support each other with the goal of waiting until 21 to drink alcohol. Over 2,200 students heard the reasons why. Through MADD’s Power of Parents and Power of Youth programs, we were able to share vital information on the importance of waiting until 21 and the risks that come with underage drinking. Both of these programs work to reduce underage drinking. Power of Youth focuses on speaking directly with middle school and high school students about the power they have to wait until 21 and the risk associated with underage drinking.
-Volunteers spent almost 500 hours working for the MADD mission. It is impossible to put a value on the time of our incredible volunteers across the state. They are literally the force behind the MADD mission. While the work MADD volunteers do is vital to the organization, it is the volunteers themselves that we couldn’t live without. The people who are so dedicated and passionate they give their time and energy to MADD. The people who inspire us, every day. They show up because they know they are making a difference. They show up in honor of those they loved. They show up because they believe in the mission and the vision of MADD. Their dedication, their hope for the future is what keeps all of us driving forward.
-Our MADD family grew. Every victim we work with becomes part of our family and this year our family grew. While we are working for a future with no more victims. We aren’t there yet. So we are here for those impacted by impaired driving. Throughout the year we walked with families through court dates and continuances, through impact statements and sentencings. It is not an easy road, but we are dedicated to those families who choose to work with MADD, we are here for them. We cannot take away their loss or change the devastation they are going through. But our hope is we can make them feel less alone.
-38 incredible heroes were honored at our annual event. The MADD Hero Awards Ceremony takes place each May and to say it is a staff favorite event would be an understatement. And that is not just because there is dessert involved! We love it because we get to spend the day with the amazing men and women keeping our state safe and their families and we get a chance to say thank you. There is a community that works to ending impaired driving and MADD is just a part of it. Our law enforcement, probation, prosecution, and other road safety partners are hands-on in the fight. It is incredible each year to see the high caliber of nominees and award winners.
-We walked and talked, raised awareness and raised over $10,000 for MADD Nebraska. And while we are incredibly thankful for the dollars raised, we truly need each and every dollar given to support the work we do in Nebraska. The best part of the walk/run event is the togetherness. It is watching families who have become friends, connecting and laughing together. It is seeing the community come out not because they have been impacted, but because they want to make a change. It is a fantastic day that allows so many to see just what MADD Nebraska is and what we are working for. We are so much more than just MADD. We are a strong community of change-makers working passionately towards a purpose, towards a goal, towards a future with No More Victims. If everyone could see the passion in the people at our walk, we know they too would be inspired to be part of our mission.
2019 was a strong year at MADD Nebraska. We moved the mission forward, we made a difference. But, the facts remain, people are still dying on Nebraska roads because of impaired driving. So, we must work to make 2020 stronger. We promise you we will not stop fighting until we have reached our goal. We hope you will continue to be part of our community, our family, working and reaching to change others and to create the future we all know is possible. We look forward to continuing to change the world with each and every one of you in 2020.