Dear Friend,

Imagine for a moment the sound of a loved one’s voice.

It’s easy if you hear it all the time. The sound of their laughter, the quirky expressions they use, the way they sing off-key in the car – they’re all as familiar to you as your own voice.

Now imagine if the voice you love is suddenly gone – silenced forever by someone’s criminal decision to drive impaired. Just the thought of it is almost too much to bear.

Tragically, there are thousands of people across Canada who have lost someone they love to impaired driving. And the first thing they forget about them is their voice.

It’s these devastated families I’m thinking about as I write to you now.

As a first responder with the police department, it’s one of the hardest parts of my job…

There’s no good way to tell someone their loved one has died. And so, I break the news as quickly and directly as I can. I need the family to understand their loved one isn’t coming home again. Now imagine that comes from a sudden, violent, preventable action like an impaired driving crash.

After breaking the news, I gently ask if there’s anything they need or someone I can call. I take solace in knowing I’m being as compassionate as possible. But it’s never enough.

You see, I can’t stay long. I have to go and respond to the next emergency. I walk out of the house, leaving behind a family shattered with no idea of how to pick up the pieces.

It’s for this reason I became a Victim Support Services volunteer with MADD Canada. In this role, I can be there for impaired driving victims for as long as they need me. They know they can call me anytime, even in the middle of the night, if they need someone to talk to.

With your support today, we can be there to provide support to victims, whether it’s sharing information, helping them to memorialize their loved one, or giving them the chance to heal and connect with each other at the annual National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving.

Your generosity can make an impact in other ways too. As a first responder I’ve seen it first-hand. On our roads, in our schools, you’re helping MADD Canada get our anti-impaired driving message out there – and it’s saving lives!

For example, first responders are huge supporters of Campaign 911. Here in Halifax over half of the impaired drivers we catch are the direct result of drivers calling in to report erratic or suspicious behaviour on the road. Meanwhile, the School Assembly Program is teaching our young people they have choices when it comes to driving impaired.

As a first responder and a MADD Canada volunteer, it’s my hope you’ll take this opportunity to donate to MADD Canada with a generous gift.

Your thoughtfulness will help protect your own loved ones on our roads. It will bring us closer to the day when my colleagues and I no longer have to devastate a family with the heartbreaking news of an impaired driving crash.

Impaired driving victims tell me it can feel like nobody is speaking for their loved one. Your support for MADD Canada helps give them a voice – to speak for those who have been silenced by impaired driving and be there for their families. We need it to ensure the memory of victims don’t fade away like the sound of their voices.

Please send your kind gift today. Thank you!

John MacLeod
First Responder and MADD Canada volunteer