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MADD SWFL Volunteers Honored

MADD SWFL Volunteers Named Top Honoree for
Diamond Volunteer Award

Malaina Mote, MADD Program Specialist, submitted the following nomination recognizing our MADD SWFL volunteers.  We were informed just this week that our volunteers were one of the three top honorees for 2017!  We will receive the coveted award at a reception on March 9th.
If you have ever volunteered with MADD SWFL, please mark your calendars for this this event.  We’ll let you know the location once it is confirmed.
Nomination Submission:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving: More Than Volunteers

Every day, 28 people are killed in drunk driving crashes. Every day, 800 people are injured in a drunk driving crash. Every day, hundreds of families lose. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was started, back in 1980, by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. During that time, there were no organizations around to help the mother through her grieving or court proceedings. That same brave mother started MADD and gave it the foundation to make it into, what is now, a national nonprofit organization. MADD works tirelessly to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support victims of drunk and drugged driving crashes and prevent underage drinking.

A common misconception of MADD is that you have to be a mother to be involved. That is not true. What was started by mother, has grown into an organization supported by mothers, fathers and people who don’t have any kids. We all share the same passion for safer roads and no more victims.

MADD Southwest Florida (SWFL) began as an official MADD affiliate in 2013. Collier County volunteers went to the MADD Executive Director of Florida and asked to have an official MADD office. For the past three and a half years, MADD SWFL has been able to conquer MADD’s mission all over its five county radius; Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades Counties. MADD SWFL has a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers who support MADD SWFL with everything that they have. From standing with us at a DUI checkpoint until 3:00 a.m. to stopping in our office to see if there is anything that we need. Our volunteers go above and beyond.

Some of our volunteers are a victim/survivor of a DUI crash. Although their DUI crash is a painful memory, that does not stop them from standing in front of a room, full of DUI offenders, to share their story with the hopes of saving a life, at our Collier County Victim Impact Panel. Their bravery and courage helps us to end drunk driving by convincing their audience to never do it again. Giving people a local face will help them think twice and plan ahead on their next night out. Offenders, who come in not realizing what to expect, often leave in tears and personally thank the volunteers who shared their story. Without our volunteers, these life-changing experiences would not take place.

MADD has a 24-hour victim help line that helps victims with a variety of services; like, referrals and the contact information of the nearest MADD victim’s advocate. In Southwest Florida, we have two volunteer victim advocates who are given shifts to answer the MADD victim help line. Sometimes, these calls wake them in the middle of the night. Regardless of the time, they answer the calls with professionalism and help the victim in need. One Volunteer Victim Advocate travels across SWFL to personally help families through their own grieving and court proceedings. On her own dime and time, she works tirelessly to help victims/survivors and guide them on their journey to peace.

Our volunteers show up to every meeting and every event. They help us every step of the way with planning the show, and then putting on the show. Since there are only two employees in our office, our volunteers do not hesitate to show up to opportunities that we were not able to attend. This helps us maintain our community relationships and let others know that MADD is here.

This award will go to the deserving MADD SWFL Volunteers. It is important to us to apply for this award, because we are just not able to thank them enough. We would really like to be able to show them how much we appreciate everything that they do. They use what they’ve been through with hopes that no one else ever feels the same pain. Our volunteers range from victims to offenders to people who just want safe roads. All of them contribute, in their own way. Winning this award will help us thank them and show them our appreciation. Our volunteers are more than just volunteers. They are lifesavers.