It should have been a special, magical Christmas.
Jennifer McCullough had everything going for her. She had just found the love of her life. She was making plans for a career in horticulture.
There were so many special, wonderful days ahead for 21-year-old Jennifer. But then, on a December morning, a man chose to drive his pick-up truck while impaired. He smashed head-on into Jennifer’s small car while she was on the way to work.
“Our daughter died alone in a ditch,” says Lynda, Jennifer’s grief-stricken mom. “Our daughter died for no reason, no reason at all.”
There would be no magical Christmas for Jennifer that year or ever again. She will never get the chance to walk across a stage on Graduation Day. She’ll never wear a wedding dress. She’ll never hold her newborn child in her arms.
In the prime of her youth, Jennifer had only one special day left – her own funeral.
Since the senseless crash that took their only child, there haven’t been many special days for Jennifer’s parents either. “We seldom go to family gatherings anymore,” Lynda admits. “We feel like outsiders now. We are the black cloud at any event.”
As we approach the holiday season, it breaks my heart to share this tragic story with you. But you know that we can’t simply look away – not while impaired driving continues to rob people like Jennifer and her family of all the many special moments of their lives.
Together, we’re working to change that. I hope we can count on you to be generous today. Your special gift will support our efforts to safeguard our streets from impaired driving. It will enable us to reach out to victims and survivors like Lynda, whose lives are forever changed by the devastating loss they carry in their hearts.
Lynda doesn’t remember her daughter’s funeral. But she does remember the terrible hours, days and weeks that followed. “I thought my soul would disintegrate along with my marriage,” she says. “My grief was so great that I contemplated suicide so many times I lost track.”
Lynda says it would have been so easy to remove herself from everything and everybody. But that would mean the person who killed her daughter, killed her too. And she couldn’t let that happen.
And so, Lynda reached out to the one place she believed could help her – a place of compassion where people would understand what she was going through. “MADD Canada has helped me restore portions of my soul,” she says. “Without their support, I don’t believe I’d be here today.”
When I hear Lynda talk about how MADD Canada literally helped save her life, I’m reminded again of the importance of our supporters. Thanks to you, we’re here to help – beginning from the very special moment someone like Lynda reaches out to us.
Your gift today will help keep our Victim/Survivor Support Services up and running for the more than 20,000 people who turn to us each year. It will help fund vital awareness programs like Project Red Ribbon and Campaign 911. And it will help us bring our powerful School Program to more students across the country.
Now is also a great time to join our Guardians of Hope monthly giving program. With your gift each month, you’ll help us continue the fight against impaired driving all year long. And you’ll ensure victims like Lynda always get the support they need.
However you choose to give, please be generous. Together, we can end impaired driving and give more Canadians the chance to enjoy all the special days yet to come.