Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it. - Danny Kaye

Monday, January 31, 2011

R.A.B. (Remember Alex Brown)

Last night David and I watched ABC’s “Extreme Makeover – Home Edition” and both got sucked in. The story tonight was about a family from Texas (The Brown Family) who lost their teenage daughter due to a texting-while-driving accident…single car crash, no seat belt on, one text message and the end of a life…wow, powerful and so sad. In memoriam of their daughter Alex Marie, the Brown family decided to travel around the state of Texas to high schools in order to spread the word of NOT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING…something we all should follow. They still travel to schools to speak to teenagers, telling them of the dangers of texting while driving and showing them the effects it can have on that decision (the vehicle their daughter was driving when she wrecked and was killed while texting and driving…in the same state as the vehicle was found). And at the end of their speech they ask each participant to sign a pledge to no longer text and drive (the R.A.B. pledge). It was such a powerful story that even though it’s exciting to watch the rest of the show to see how their new home turns out, I think I was most drawn to how the producers and designers (specifically Ty Pennington) decided to help the Brown family expand their cause to across state lines and to reach out to the rest of the country’s teens and beyond. Not only were they given a gorgeous new home to move forward with their lives including sentiments of their beautiful daughter tied into the décor, but they were also given a new and improved start to their cause “R.A.B. (Remember Alex Brown)”. They were given state-of-the-art technology to search for high schools around the country where they could reach out to tell their story (Alex’s story). And they were also given a simulator which was like a video game where you attempt to drive with a steering wheel and text message at the same time…it was interesting to see how distracted the “drivers” would become even though they thought they were (like the rest of us) ‘good at texting while driving’. Nonetheless, this story made an impression on me and after just having had a conversation with my family yesterday about how technology can ‘take over us’ I decided to sign the pledge that the Brown family started in an effort to not only make my driving safer for me and those in my car and those on the road around me, but also to help spread the word of Alex’s story and the cause to stop texting while driving. Luckily I haven’t had a direct negative effect of texting while driving, but I do know people who have and it’s a very scary thing. So, with that being said, I’m posting a link to the R.A.B. (Remember Alex Brown) website where you too can sign the pledge to no longer text while driving. I hope this message reaches lots of people and will continue to spread…and I hope the Browns can touch thousands and maybe even millions of lives with their cause.

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