I contacted MADD right after Justin's death for support and direction. I left so many messages that I can't begin to tell you. I could tell by the questions coming from investigators that they were hesitant to press charges. I had no idea of what I was doing, but I put together my own plan of letter writing to the Governor, Florida Highway Patrol Investigators and the State Attorneys Office seeking justice for my son. I encouraged all friends and families to do the same. However, I was still a crying mess...a grieving mother who was dealing with the death of her first born; help my daughter deal with her only siblings death AND trying to come to terms with the fact that life would NEVER be the same. I finally got a call back from a nice woman with MADD several weeks later. We talked for abit and I asked for MADD's support. I was told by the MADD Representative that she thought I was doing a "fine job by myself." Really?!
I have no use for MADD, as when I needed them, they were no place to be found. Charges against the 18-year old driver were ultimately filed and dismissed because of a loophole in the Florida Statutes and this 18-year old walked away without consequence. In an effort to get some type of justice for my son, as well as the next family of a hit and run driver, I went on to change the Florida Law in his memory (The Justin McWilliams Act) and in July 2009 formed Parents Encouraging Confident Choices, a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to the education of our young people on making confident and responsible choices. I go into middle schools and high schools and hold speaking events not only educating our young people on the dangers of underage drinking; drinking and driving; driving with an impaired driver and taking illegal substances...but also other poor choices that include prescription drug abuse; bullying; inappropriate use of the Internet/Cell Phone; texting while driving; sexting; street racing and car surfing.
Honestly, as the President and CEO of my own Non-Profit, and knowing how hard that I work ...I can not comprehend how the CEO of this Organization can in good faith and in good conscience take a paycheck for a quarter of a million dollars a year when his Organization stays in the red.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I wanted to experience all that I thought this organization had to offer. Unfortunately, I found they had nothing to offer me when I needed them most.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Honestly, I would have to say clean house; replace the CEO and all board members. Anyone that would collect that type of paycheck, and those that would support an individual collecting that type of paycheck without results for many years, simply do not get it. It's time to go back to the basics of who MADD was, why it was formed and all that it did...before it didn't. I can assure you that if you lost a child due to an alcohol related crash...you would get it!
How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you recommend this organization to others?
What is unique about this organization?
It was the most unique Organization of it's kind when it was originally formed. Everyone knew MADD ...saw MADD...and supported MADD. Then, it became more politically inclined...getting away from it's roots involving helping the victims and their families of alcohol related crashes. Of course when a company goes in a more politically motivated direction, they then require someone that is just as politically inclined in the top position.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?