Dear Friend,

“Happy Holidays!” How many times will you say those words to colleagues, neighbours, friends and family over the next several weeks?

Of course, you want your loved ones to be happy during the festive season. But I’m sure you also want something more for them: You want the people in your life to have Safe Holidays!

With your donation to MADD Canada you’re letting people know you want them to have not only Happy Holidays, but Safe Holidays – because by supporting MADD Canada, you’re taking steps to make holiday roads safer.

Your support for MADD Canada today might be the most meaningful holiday gift you can give Canadians this season. It could help prevent senseless tragedy on our roads and spare families the anguish an impaired driving crash can cause.

Anguish like that experienced by Brandee Keeler and her family. One Friday, two years ago, Brandee watched her 19-year-old son, Colton, head out the door with his friends. It was the last time she saw her sweet son alive.

Colton was riding in a vehicle with a designated driver when their car suddenly broke down. He and his friends had just started to push the car when it was hit by an impaired driver. Colton died instantly. His friend, Tyson, was fatally injured and passed away six days later.

“The police came to the door and told me Colton had been killed by a drunk driver. I went completely numb,” recalls Brandee. “I sat down on the steps and kept saying, ‘No. No. This can’t be true.”

But sadly, it was. Because of someone’s unforgivable actions, a beloved son, brother and friend was gone and a family was plunged into darkest despair.

But, thanks to support from people like you, Brandee has found some comfort and a place to turn for help and hope. “MADD gave me an outlet and a connection to others who have been through a similar loss,” she says. “It helps to know the pain is not just my own.”

Today, Brandee helps raise money for MADD Canada and hands out red ribbons to all her friends to build awareness for our work.

“Impaired driving is not acceptable when you look at the lives lost due to this preventable crime – the horror of it all,” Brandee says. “The message needs to get out there. People need to stand up against impaired driving.”

This holiday season, I want to thank you for doing just that. And I want to encourage you to send the most generous gift you can.

Your donation will help fund vital awareness programs like Campaign 911 and Project Red Ribbon, which Brandee says represents peoples’ hearts.

And, it will help us reach out to the victims/survivors of this senseless crime, just like we reached out to Brandee. Together with you, we’ll bring comfort, understanding and support to over 20,000 devastated people this year.

If you’re like me, you’re wishing for a Happy Holiday for all the people in your life this year. But, as Brandee’s tragic story reminds us, there can be no Happy Holidays without there first being Safe Holidays.

Angeliki Souranis
National President
MADD Canada