OKLAHOMA CITY — The Victims’ Impact Panel of Oklahoma — a powerful program presenting the personal effects of drunk driving — is seeking volunteers. Volunteers serve on panels of three persons consisting of family members of victims, survivors of alcohol-related crashers, rescue professionals and convicted drunk drivers who have killed or injured an innocent person.

“Through panel presentations, audiences experience the impact of drunk driving through the eyes of a victim, a rescue professional and an offender,” said JoAn Shelton, Victims’ Impact Panel regional director. “We’re in need of volunteers in the area to share their stories as panelists and make a positive impact in the community.”

The Victims’ Impact Panel Program is conducted for civic groups, youth groups and under the order of courts for DUI offenders. Through presentations in middle schools, high schools and colleges, Victims’ Impact Panel volunteers communicate the reality of drunk driving to young people just establishing their driving habits. Students see firsthand the reality of making a wrong choice. By presenting to DUI offenders, the offenders are confronted with direct results of their decisions to drink and drive.

“By sharing their personal tragic experiences, panelists set others on the right path — one without the pain that can come from drunk driving,” Shelton said. “We’re not looking for professional speakers. We’re looking for real people who have real-life experiences to share, making a difference in the lives of others.”

Volunteers also benefit from becoming part of a large support group for those who have been affected by drink driving in this area. Victims’ Impact Panel volunteers help one another cope with their own personal tragedies.

Victims’ Impact Panel of Oklahoma is a powerful program that presents, in a very personal way, the far-reaching effects of the choice to drink and drive. The non-profit organization has coordinated thousands of panel programs throughout the state in the last 16 years. For more details, log on to the web site at www.vipofok.com.

To learn more about becoming a Victims’ Impact Panel volunteer, contact JoAn Shelton at (580) 272-9430.

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