Mothers Against Drunk Driving works in the Central Texas area to support victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving at no charge.
The national nonprofit serves one person every 8.6 minutes through local offices such as the one in Killeen, according to its website.
Last year in Bell County, 15 people were killed by drunk drivers, said Reita Hill, victims assistance specialist with MADD in Killeen.
“That’s 15 families that need assistance through the criminal justice system, along with helping them through that process and the grieving process,” she said.
Another 345 people were injured from drunk driving accidents in Bell County, Hill said.
“We definitely have a problem that we need to solve in this area,” she said. “No. 1 is getting the drunk drivers off the street and for law enforcement to do that consistently.”
To assist victims and survivors, MADD gets funding from a variety of sources. Sometimes, it applies for funding through the United Way of Greater Fort Hood. The local chapter didn’t apply for funding in 2013, but in 2012, it received $5,000. Hill said she intends to apply for funding in 2014.
“The United Way has helped us with our volunteers,” Hill said. “They help me with projects we have in the community.”
While the United Way has helped MADD obtain volunteers, the funding also allows the organization to host an appreciation event for volunteers. Some of those volunteers are victims of drunk driving accidents who speak to first- and second-time offenders.
“I think the community needs to know that MADD is here and that we will make a difference in our community,” Hill said.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.