• TextLess Live More’s 2020 Newsletter

    By Marie McGrath | Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

CEO Rich Levitan shares TextLess Live More's Vision for a Safe Future.

Hunter Levitan on Passing Hands Free in Massachusetts in honor of her sister Merritt.

National Update on TLLM Partnership with SADD and more.

TextLess Live More embraces the new year and decade committed to our mission to end distracted driving and educate people about the real dangers of distracted driving and distracted living.

Letter from the CEO

Dear TextLess Live More Friends,

As we close the decade, I can’t help but reflect on what the past ten years have meant to me as a father, husband, and humanitarian. In 2013, we lost our eldest daughter Merritt (18) to a distracted driver. Unexpected and tragic, these past years since our horrific loss have taught me, my wife Anna, our daughter Hunter and son Joe the meaning of legacy, compassion, hope, and perseverance. As we turn the corner of a difficult time, we hold these four blessings close to our hearts and do not take them for granted.

TextLess Live More, founded by Merritt’s friends at Milton Academy in the aftermath of her death, has helped to define her legacy. In spreading the mission of TLLM and sharing our personal story, now to millions of people, we have experienced compassion beyond belief or expectation. In watching perceptions and attitudes toward distracted driving change and become a part of the national dialogue, we are filled with hope that one day this terrible epidemic will end. In passing laws such as the recent Hands-Free Law in Massachusetts, we, along with fellow families who have lost, supporters, and advocates, celebrate a collective perseverance to make sure no other family experiences the tragedy of losing a loved one to something 100% preventable.

On behalf of the TextLess Live More Family, thank you for these four gifts. Please know we will work tirelessly to broaden, strengthen and share each of these four blessings in the new decade ahead.

Richard Levitan
President & CEO, TextLess Live More

Robert Fields and other Engagement Board members at the SADD National Conference

CNN’s Courageous Studios Film TLLM for AT&T It Can Wait Campaign

TextLess Live More and Merritt’s Story was selected for AT&T’s It Can Wait Campaign with a broad roll-out during 2019’s back-to-school season.

Filmed in Arkansas, Director Greg Olliver and the talented team at CNN’s Courageous Studios created a beautiful and moving video to raise awareness about the real dangers of distracted driving.

Featuring interviews with the Arkansas First Responders at the site of the fatal crash, Merritt’s family and fellow trip-mates Liesel Robbins and Jeff Betzler, the compelling story has been seen by more than one million people. View and share the It Can Wait video here.

Greg Olliver, Director of CNN’s Courageous Studios AT&T It Can Wait Video

GetLiving 2020

We have officially kicked off our second year of the GetLiving Campaign, an initiative to recognize and find realistic solutions to living in the Digital Age. Each month offers new initiatives with helpful tips to stay present – behind the wheel and in your daily life. TLLM’s empowering Call-to-Action for young people (and people of all ages!) is to “Get Living” and enjoy life in real time. We offer guides on how to manage and avoid the potential stresses of today’s digital overuse, while understanding the positive benefits of staying truly connected to yourself, friends, and peers.

Download the GetLiving campaign here.

Inaugural Weiler-TLLM Scramble Success

On August 23, 2019, TextLess Live More hosted the Inaugural Scramble to End Distracted Driving in Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania. Nearly 40 corporations, organizations, and groups of individuals sponsored the golf event, joined by 88 enthusiastic golfers.

Thanks to the overwhelming support from the Buck Hill Falls and Skytop Communities, TLLM exceeded fundraising goals, setting a high bar for next year’s event at Skytop. The TLLM team is grateful for the enthusiasm from everyone involved and thrilled to continue the lifesaving work these funds will allow.

Next year’s Scramble will be on Friday, August 14, 2020. Save the date!

TLLM Weiler Golf Scramble

TLLM Scramble golfers gather before the round

Team TLLM at the Rodman Ride

On September 21, Team TextLess Live More cycled in the Rodman Ride in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Forty fantastic riders got on their bikes and rode to end distracted driving and support the mission of TextLess Live More to educate and raise awareness about the real dangers of distraction and distraction behind-the-wheel. Next year’s ride is on September 26th. We hope you’ll consider riding 25 or 50 miles with us in Foxborough, MA!

Team TLLM celebrates after the Rodman Ride

SADD National Partnership Update 2019

TextLess Live More presented to SADD chapters in eleven states in 2019, including Ohio, California, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Dakota, Maryland, Tennessee and Arizona. Thank you to all the amazing students and educators all around SADD Nation who got involved with TLLM. 

This year TextLess Live More initiated the TLLM Engagement Board, comprised of seven SADD students from across the country. The TLLM Engagement Board will lead their communities and states in efforts to end distracted driving and distracted living.

TLLM Engagement Board Members will spearhead the 2020 GetLiving Campaign, creating targeted projects to support the GetLiving initiative to be present behind-the-wheel, engage in real-time with peers and friends, and combat their generation’s digital addiction.

Members of the SADD Student Leadership Council at the SADD National Conference

Massachusetts Passes Hands-Free Bill in November

On November 25, 2019 my family, friends and I honored my sister, Merritt, and other victims of distracted driving, by witnessing Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker sign the Hands-Free bill into law, making Massachusetts the 21st state in the nation and the last state in New England to pass this life-saving law. I am unbelievably proud of TextLess Live More, my parents, fellow families, and advocates, and members of the Massachusetts Legislature for their relentless hard work to make sure no other parent, sister or brother loses a loved one to distracted driving. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us on this special day and to everyone who has been involved in the fight to end distracted driving. It was truly a historic occasion for not only the state of Massachusetts, but also for TextLess Live More.

– Hunter Levitan

Richard, Anna and Hunter Levitan hold the Hands Free Bill with Governor Baker

50/50 for 2020

One of our goals for this year is to bring TLLM to every state in the U.S. To host an event in your state, contact [email protected]!

Mark Your Calendars

Important dates for TextLess Live More in 2020:

  • March 14th – Annual Sugarbush Rally Fundraiser in Warren, Vermont
  • August 14th – Second Annual Scramble to End Distracted Driving in the Poconos, Pennsylvania
  • September 26th – Rodman Ride for Kids in Foxboro, Massachusetts

Your Support is Appreciated

TextLess Live More, a 501c3, relies on your generous support to continue our mission to end distracted driving and educate and raise awareness about the real dangers of distraction behind-the-wheel. Thank you so much for supporting TextLess Live More. Our work is life saving and making a difference!

We are truly grateful,

The TextLess Live More Family