Guest Author: Phaedra Marriott-Olsen, MADD Tennessee State Program Director
As you are aware, the COVID 19 pandemic has crucially impacted all of us in a variety of ways. On March 17th when we closed our office for staff to work from home, we could never imagine that in mid-June we would still be worried about COVID-19 at this level.
Like most organizations, we have had to make many changes in the way MADD operates. We have made every effort to adjust and transition our programming for online and/or virtual options in services offered, programming, and fundraising. However, because many corporate partners, businesses and individual supporters of MADD have been dramatically affected financially, MADD has also been impacted. The pandemic has resulted in significant shortfalls for MADD in Victim Impact Panel revenue, Walk Like MADD sponsorships, and fewer Walk Like MADD participants.
Sadly, the impact of this loss in funding, not only in Tennessee, but at MADD offices across the nation, has resulted in the need for restructure. Based on the outcome of a recent review by MADD National Leadership and an analysis of the current operational needs of the organization, MADD has had to make the difficult decision to adjust staffing levels as a cost-savings measure.
It is with heavy heart that we announce that both Kelly Hennessy-Pierce and Tanya Read served their last day with MADD Tennessee on Friday, June 12, 2020. Kelly and Tanya both worked out of the Nashville office and beautifully served our state in the years and months they were with us. We have seen countless lives be touched with their infectious personalities. We’ve watched MADD programs grow, students become more educated and, of course, on a regular basis, spent many hours laughing for endless moments with these amazing women. We will miss seeing those sweet smiles daily. As MADD family, this loss will be deeply felt amongst our MADD Tennessee staff and our devoted volunteers.
Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” As we restructure our staff and our programs, please know that MADD Tennessee is strong, and together, will get through this time. We will come out of this season even more united, as we continue to carry out the mission of MADD to end drunk driving, fight drugged driving, prevent underage drinking, and support the victims of these crimes.
I encourage you to reach out at any time to MADD if we can offer any assistance or further support to you.