Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Faces of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 - The Ones We Love

Dear Friend of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25,
This letter is about how to keep “KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25®” alive.
KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® was born 11 years ago on the simple premise that each one of us can make all the difference in making neighborhood streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers by following the rules of road. It was, and continues to be, a proactive campaign. What we do each time we get behind the wheel does matter – to our loved ones, to ourselves, and to people we have not even met.
Wendy and I committed our limited financial resources to getting the campaign off the ground. We were, and still are, encouraged by the pioneering efforts of neighborhoods like Echo Hills in Sarpy County, Nebraska, and of cities including Danville, CA, Oro Valley, AZ, Oceanside, CA, Bolingbrook, IL, Columbus, OH, New Berlin, WI, and Toledo, OH, which were the first to work to engage residents as a frontline solution to the problems we ourselves cause – speeding, stop sign-running, not buckling up, tailgating, and all sorts of distracted driving behaviors. They set the foundation for all to come.
There have been the commitments of families of victims that have made tremendous differences in involving young people, schools, civic organizations, and even state legislatures in creating safer roadways for the benefit of us all. These include mothers and fathers like Karen Steffan whose daughter, Ashley, was hit and killed by a speeding classmate (almost 60 mph in a 25 mph zone) while waiting for the school bus in her driveway in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

And Sean Martin, who has worked tirelessly with middle school students at Miami Lakes Middle School in Florida to enact ordinances to keep kids safer in school zones in memory of his son, Shaye, who was struck and killed by a speeding motorist (plus 60 mph) while walking on the sidewalk in a school zone.

And Barbara Foster, who worked with her State Representative in Mesquite, Texas to change State law regarding 30 mph mandates for residential streets in the wake of the death of her son, Kyle, hit and killed in front of his home when crossing the street on Halloween.

There are so many more stories to share, but allow these to begin to paint a picture of why the mission of KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® makes a difference each and every day. In fact, the best way to picture the difference we strive to make is to simply take out your wallet and gaze at photos of the people you love most – the ones you would never choose to have die a tragic and untimely death. Our loved ones make all the difference in our lives each and every day we have on this earth.
We have been blessed these past 11 years by the generosity of donors willing to give financially to support our mission. The vast majority of these donations have been $5.00 - $100.00, and a small, but growing, list of monthly contributors for $5.00 a month or more through the The Network for Good. We have also benefited from generosity of corporations including High Point and Teacher’s Insurance of New Jersery, Ford Motor Company Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, American Family Insurance, UPS, AAMCO, Time Warner Communications, Wheels for You, and countless businesses that have supported your local campaigns. Foundations, including the GEICO Philanthropic Fund, The Crosson Family Foundation, and the Maginn Family Foundation have also been key sources of support. We are grateful for each and every dollar that has come our way to reinvest in growing the campaign nationwide.
However, we have come to a crossroads in our financial ability to continue our mission. Our yearly budget rarely exceeds $150,000.00 to fund a mission that has extended itself to over 1000 communities representing 48 states, 2 Canadian Provinces, the Bahamas, as well as contacts in India, Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. Donations are down significantly this year – 50% or more at this writing. In addition, revenue generated through our yard signs, trash can decals, etc. is down over 50% as well. In short, we are facing the same financial crisis as many other non- profits and for-profits in this tight economy.
Thus, if you are not doing so already, I am asking you to become a donor to support our mission. Here are ways to do so:
Become a $5.00 per month donor through our donor page on The Network for Good
Invite family, friends, and colleagues to become donors as well.
Make a one-time donation for any amount directly through our web site at http://www.keepkidsalivedrive25.org/donate/ Or checks can be mailed directly to:
12418 C Street
Omaha, NE 68144
Invite your employer to donate and/or become a sponsor for the campaign – locally, regionally, or nationally. Call 402-334-1391 or e-mail Tom@kkad25.org for details.
All donations are tax-deductible. Any size donation will be greatly appreciated... no amount is too small.
The reasons for donating and preserving the mission of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 can be found right in your own home, neighborhood, schools, workplaces, parks – in short everywhere where people you care about congregate.
Please call or e-mail with any questions you have regarding our work and mission. I will not hard-sell you on becoming a donor. First and foremost Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 is about people. I believe, as does our board of directors, that when we put people first, the money to carry out our mission will follow.
And, as always, in the words David Townsend, father of Tia – hit and killed while walking in a marked crosswalk by a driver who pulled around the car in front of him:
“Don’t let the two minutes you ‘save’
be the last two minutes of someone’s life.”
Thank you for reading, as well as for your generous support.
In safety,
Tom EversonTom Everson
Executive Director & FounderKEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® - A “For Action” Organization -501(c) (3)
12418 C Street
Omaha, NE 68144
http://www.keepkidsalivedrive25.org/ – Keep up with the latest at the KKAD25 Blog.

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