It’s been a rewarding and life-changing project. “One time I was speaking, and a young man had already seen my message at the driver's license office,” Nancy recalls. “And he said one night he had been drinking, and he put his key in the ignition and he saw the From the HEART keychain. And he took the key out, and he called his girlfriend.”
Nancy estimates her volunteer work—writing letters, getting grants for funding, sending out bumper stickers, speaking and more—has added up to about 500 hours a year for the past 24 years.
“Her artwork is a staple that you can see in all the driver license stations in South Dakota—on billboards across the state and in high school driver's education rooms. She speaks at many high school events,” explains Casey Kappel, people lead at Store 3237. “Nancy has taken a personal tragedy and molded her pain into resolve to prevent others from experiencing the same.”
Nancy’s extraordinary effort was recognized by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) when Nancy was awarded a public service award at the 2021 Lifesavers Conference.
“I was honored to receive this prestigious award. It means that even more people can hear and see our simple message,” Nancy shares.
“It would have been a fabulous experience to travel to our capital, but the award was presented virtually by Dr. Steven Cliff, acting administrator for NHTSA, and introduced by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg at the Lifesavers National Conference. Quite an honor!”