Dear Friend,

On December 3rd 2012, Beth Harris went to bed early with sharp pains in her stomach. Before that terrible night was over, she was at the hospital identifying the lifeless body of her youngest child.

William, age 15, had been killed instantly by a repeat impaired driving offender.

“I touched William’s hand and the pain in my stomach went away instantly,” recalls Beth. “But it was replaced by something far worse. I felt like a piece of my heart had just been ripped out. Losing William to such a senseless act broke our family.”

Then like a special gift, MADD Canada was there. Beth attended our National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving and found comfort in the stories and arms of other victims. She reached out to our Victim/Survivor Support Services and found understanding.

“MADD Canada is a safe place to go. Their compassion and ability to listen gives me strength,” says Beth. “MADD Canada is a precious gift for grief-stricken people like me.”

And for MADD Canada, for victims and survivors of impaired driving, and for every person who travels Canada’s roads you can be a true gift.

With your special gift to MADD Canada today, you will help fund vital programs designed to make our roads safer for you, your family and friends during the holidays. It will also help us continue to reach out to victims/survivors like Beth at this emotionally-charged time of year.

The weekend before he died, William helped his mom decorate the Christmas tree. Like Beth, he loved the season and all the traditions that went along with it. “William was my Christmas Kid,” says Beth. “But he isn’t here anymore and that’s changed everything.”

Still, Beth and her family never pass up the opportunity to honour William’s memory during his favourite season. They decorate a tree just for him and lovingly hang his stocking.

“I had bought William an electric helicopter for Christmas that year,” Beth says. “Now I put it in his stocking each year because he never got the chance to open it.”

Gifts, like the little helicopter that has such special meaning for Beth, can take many forms. And we all know the thankful and happy feeling we get when we receive a gift and the warm feeling that fills our heart when we can give back.

This holiday season, your support is one of the greatest ways you can be a gift to those facing tragedy and sorrow in what should be a joyful time of year.

In fact, your generosity this season makes you a special gift to all Canadians, including your loved ones. With your support, you’ll help us make our roads safer by educating the next generation of drivers through our School Assembly Program. And you’ll help us create more awareness through important programs like Campaign 911 and Project Red Ribbon.

This holiday season I’m thankful there are people who care so deeply about victims/survivors like Beth and want to make a real, life-saving difference on our roads. Please be a precious gift to your family and friends, and to families in need by giving your gift to MADD Canada today. Thank you!

Angeliki Souranis
National President
MADD Canada