JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The president of the MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction-Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder) Jacksonville Chapter was honored for his working helping families in the Jacksonville community.
The American Civility Association held a fundraiser Tuesday evening to support its efforts to help disenfranchised children in schools. One of the highlights was Donald Foy, president of the MAD DADS Jacksonville Chapter, being honored with the 2019 Kindness Hero of the Year Award.
He received a hearty cheer and there was a standing ovation for the members of MAD DADS who Foy called to stand at the podium with him.
"The guys who are on the side of me, and the ones that will arrive, they are the reason we are receiving this award because of their hard work, because of our hard work, that we have put in for 15 years," Foy said.
For the last 15 years, Foy and the national anticrime group's Jacksonville Chapter have fought to break the code of silence -- encouraging witnesses of crime to tell what they know in an effort to curb violence, and comfort victims and their families.
The group is known best for its organized neighborhood walks shortly after a crime has happened or to bring recognition to cases that have gone cold.
Foy said it was a triple murder that happened off Fairfax Street near Edward Waters College that helped motivate him to start the MAD DADS Jacksonville Chapter.
"I called back and I said, 'Who's doing something about it?' And they said, 'Nobody.' And the Holy Spirit told me, He said, 'Why don't you get involved and do something about it?'" Foy said. "And I started leading MAD DADS."
Health challenges have made it difficult for Foy to keep up with the demands of walking the neighborhoods. He made sure those who are always out there also received recognition Tuesday night.
"I cannot accept this award by myself," he said. "I didn't earn it by myself."
Foy encourages any witness of a crime to anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).
Foy said that while MAD DADS may not see an immediate arrest, he said the group's satisfaction is giving comfort to the families of crime victims and letting them know that there are people who care about them.