Just before 3:00 am on January 3, 2016, Linda and Lou Van De Vorst received a call from the police. They were at the front door and they had devastating news.
“The sergeant was distraught. I could see it on his face,” Linda recalls. “His words hit us like a ton of bricks, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this but your son and daughter-in-law have been killed in a car crash and your grandchildren are clinging to life’.”
Soon, five-year-old Kamryn and two-year-old Miguire were gone too – four beautiful lives snuffed out by someone’s criminal decision to drive impaired.
“We lost one third of our family in one breath,” says Lou. “We used to have dinner every Sunday. Laughter was always in our house. Our son, Jordan, his wife, Chanda and the two youngest members of our family ‘our little angels’ are gone and it’s a gap we’ll never be able to fill.”
As I share this tragic story with you I’m feeling many things and perhaps you are too. Fear that it could happen to you; anger that something so preventable could happen to an innocent family; profound sadness for the victims left behind.
Or maybe you feel a desire to reach out to victims like the Van De Vorst family and take steps to help end impaired driving and make our roads safer for everyone.
Whatever motivates you to give to MADD Canada I’m deeply grateful for your support. Your thoughtfulness and compassion give us the opportunity to accomplish our work and fulfill our mission of saving lives and supporting victims/survivors.
I hope you’ll find it in your heart today to offer your generous support for MADD Canada’s vital programs. With your special gift you’ll be there for devastated families like the Van De Vorsts and help us do everything in our power to prevent this from happening to other Canadians.
As you can imagine, the loss of their loved ones was almost more than Lou and Linda could bear. They miss Jordan’s sense of humour, Chanda’s infectious smile. They ache for the hugs and kisses of their grandchildren.
And then Lou and Linda discovered MADD Canada. They were invited to attend our National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving and admit they struggled at first with the idea of “opening themselves up again.”
“We didn’t know what to expect,” Linda says. “But it was incredible. We felt loved, welcomed and not alone. The people at the conference could understand our loss. It meant so much to us and inspired us to want to help others on their journey.”
That’s exactly what you do with your support for MADD Canada. You give 20,000 victims and survivors a place to turn where they can begin to heal and learn how to deal with the unrelenting sorrow they live with every day.
Your gift today will help fund our Victim/Survivor Services so we can keep reaching out to people like Lou and Linda. And, it will help us continue our work and bring us closer to our goal of ending impaired driving once and for all.
“With donor support, MADD Canada has come a long way but the job isn’t over yet,” says Lou. “It won’t be finished until we have zero fatalities and injuries from impaired driving. That’s why it’s so important for people to keep giving.”
What motivates you to gift to MADD Canada? Is it fear, anger, a desire to help? There are as many reasons to give as there are people. Whatever you’re feeling in your heart right now, I hope it will motivate you to be generous. Thank you.