The MADD Victim Impact Panel is a program unlike any other. It is also a program that could not exist without volunteers. Victim Impact Panels work to shift the perspective of those convicted of impaired driving, helping them to connect with the true risk of their choice. They do this by listening to those who have been directly or indirectly impacted by impaired driving. These panels truly change lives. The feedback we receive shows that people are truly changed by what they hear. And the families, friends and others who are sharing their stories, find healing in the process.

So what does it look like to get involved in the Victim Impact Panel program as a volunteer? There are many ways you can help make this program happen. It is also is a statewide program, so you can get involved anywhere we offer a panel. Panels are held on nights or weekends depending on the area and the commitment is just a couple hours for each panel. Panels in some areas are completely volunteer run. So, one of the volunteer roles is panel facilitator. Facilitators work to ensure panels run smoothly, working with the MADD state office to get all the appropriate materials, contact speakers, check-in guests and collect fees, work as the panel mediator and ensure timely return of all panels materials to the state office after panel completion. Facilitators are incredible and play such an important role in ensuring we can offer these panels in many different areas. If facilitating doesn’t work for you, you can help with panel check-in. Check-In volunteers just come for the beginning of the panel and work to make sure all attendees are paid and have a receipt for the panel. This is a role that makes it so easy to get involved, just about an hour of time each panel and a huge difference is made!

The last role for panels is a very special one. It is one that only a few qualify to do, but unfortunately still too many in our communities. Victim Impact Panel speakers are friends or family members, or victims who have been directly impacted by impaired driving. Speakers have the difficult role of sharing their stories, they are the impact of the panel. They walk through the before, during and after of their crash, and work to help others understand just what was taken from them at the time of the crash. Each victim tells their story in their own way, and each one has a huge impact. By sharing they are making an incredible difference in the lives of others, but they are also healing themselves and letting their loved one live on if they were killed in a crash.

If you are interested in any of these roles, we would love to hear from you! Give us a call at (402) 434-5330 or email us at ne.state@madd.org.